I absolutely murdered this tea the first go-round. It was so bad I just poured the cup down the drain, but it was really my own fault. This is a green/black blend, but it doesn’t look like there is any green in there (though it is one of the prettiest blends I’ve ever seen!) and the instructions from NMTC say to brew it at 212 for 4-5 minutes. So, boiling water, 5 minutes, and no milk/sugar it was—and the results were horrifically bitter.

So for the second steep I cooled the water down a lot (perhaps too much, but I was nervous!), steeped for 3 minutes and added a tiny splash of milk to cut the astringency. And, like magic, an entirely different tea appeared in my cup. This tasted much more like a green than I thought it would—the hint of milk cuts the astringent of the black down to basically nothing, leaving behind a soft, sweet, floral tea. You can taste the jasmine the most, but the rose & lavender are there as well, with the vanilla adding a hint of creaminess. A great afternoon tea if you like floral blends (which I most definitely do).

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea has always been a passion of mine, though I got away from it during college. A lack of cupboard space and a constant influx of people into my suite made me pretty much abandon my teas at home. But now that I’m done with school, it’s definitely come back with a vengeance—to the point where I’ve purchased about 65 different kinds in the past 3 months!

I like most kinds of teas—yes, even peach, which I used to think I disliked!. Oolongs are definitely my favorite, and I’m an avid fan of earl grey, floral teas, and chai blends along with anything melon. The only kind of teas on my “no” list are rooibos blends (which gives me headaches) and banana flavored ones since bananas are public enemy #1 in my mind.

The best thing about tea for me is how you can be passionate about it and still have it integrate into all of your other hobbies. I like a lot of things: writing, video games, books, sewing, figure collecting, astronomy… it’s a long list. But whatever I’m doing, I can have a cup of tea in hand!


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