I prepared this as Den’s Tea’s oh-so-detailed chart instructs: 2g tea, 4oz boiling water, 30/15 second steeps. First impression: reminds me of (roasted) yerba maté or kukicha. It’s a very mild flavor, not at all bitter, but also not very tea-like to my palate. Slightly sweet, but also somewhat… dusty, in flavor? Oddly dry. The second steep is very similar.

This is interesting, but not likely to become a staple of mine any time soon. Maybe it would be a good low-caffeine option if you’re a purist who doesn’t drink flavored teas or tisanes, but I can’t really imagine the mood where I’d pick this over everything else in my cupboard.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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