When I realized I had an English Breakfast that wasn’t just a sampler, I was like, “Oh hey! More black tea for my hair rinses!” Because yes, that is a thing I do. I brew up black tea with pure sage leaf and a bit of apple cider vinegar and dump it on my head. So this is likely going to be a… uh… rinse down? once I’ve used up the leaf taking showers. But then I realized I hadn’t logged this, so I was like, “Oh, I suppose I should make a cuppa while I still have the leaf and do that.” So I’m doing that.

This is a CTC English Breakfast blend that is Assam, Ceylon, and Sumatran teas. My favorite breakfast blends always include a bit of Chinese black in the mix, so I already know this isn’t going to be one I want to “hang onto” (I’m pretty sure it’s between Steven Smith Teamaker’s “British Brunch” and Bird & Blend’s “Great British Cuppa” for the English Breakfast blend I plan to eventually permanently stock in my cupboard of all the ones I’ve sampled that best match my personal tastes), but I’m still willing to give it a sample. I used 2.8g for 350ml of water and a 2 min. steep. The aroma is malty but has some strong citrusy notes, a bit moreso than many other breakfast blends I’ve tried.

This is a strong tea, maybe the strongest I’ve had other than the Whittards of Chelsea blend I sampled… it is at least tied with it. Is it from the Sumatran black tea? I don’t think I’ve ever had a breakfast blend that included that type of black tea in it before. But this is definitely more robust than my particular preferences. It has a quite bitter taste to it, and is very astringent. I get notes of malt, burnt toast, lemon citrus, and black pepper.

I definitely had to finish off this cuppa British style, with a bit of honey and some almond milk. It was too dark and bitter for me otherwise. And I’ll definitely be finishing off the rest of the bag as a “rinse down.” Black tea is great for shedding issues!

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Pepper, Burnt, Citrus, Lemon, Malt, Toast

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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