I let this, my first cup of East Frisian, brew about 30 seconds too long so I might need to revise my review. I have not had this kind of tea before, but have read much about it. Getting it right is an art (or a science?) according to many people. Although I’ve overbrewed it, I can taste the delicious maltiness and can detect the aroma of good solid earth. I think that this tea is stolid and robust and quite strong, which makes it an excellent candidate for early morning and any other time in which more caffeine is essential. It’s not delicate, but it is tasty and it’s doing the trick. I’m sitting up straighter and feeling more alert right now.

I’ll be trying this again and will probably invest in a larger size. Thank you to Upton for providing so many sampler sizes and for speedy shipping.

SECOND STEEP: I can certainly understand why many people are so devoted to this blend. It’s strong and earthy and a great substitute for coffee, providing plenty of caffeine and plenty of flavor. I really like the addition of a bit of sugar and some milk to this tea.

4 min, 30 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style


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