Sometimes you can’t escape it — you’re in a Darjeeling mood. “I’d like a cup of black tea, but not too heavy, and I don’t want milk, and I’d like the flavor to be subtle but wonderful.” This tea does all of that, with a surprising extra flair that won me over as soon as I inhaled the brewed liquor vapors. It had a faint flavor — not lingering on the palate — almost like jasmine tea if you could take all the ponderous cloying qualities of jasmine away. Nothing too fancy, but of the very highest quality. Very smooth, soft drinking.

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A highly domesticated creature living in the outer boroughs of New York City.

Dad worked for Lipton, but we drank Swee-Touch-Nee instead. Later found out that “Swee-Touch-Nee” is a rough transliteration of the Russian word for flowery: цветочной.

I am a foodie first and a tea drinker second. But one informs the other, of course.

My tea preferences vary according to season and weather. I know just what to do with a raw cold wet dark winter day: East Frisian with milk! On the other end of my taste range is Tazo’s Cucumber White, which when chilled is a good antidote for humid summer weather. Middle ground: Frances Bissell’s Special Blend Ceylon; Upton’s Mincing Lane Black Tea Blend; Scottish Breakfast. My favorite smoky tea is Upton’s Baker Street Black Tea Blend.

I am still exploring and learning about tea. Think of me as an advanced beginner.


Brooklyn, NYC



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