Reading Tea Leaves — Black Teas

Fourth in this round of that practical approach to reading tea leaves. Before steeping, these leaves tell of the process they endured once plucked from the tea bush (Camellia Sinensis). After steeping, they reveal their true nature more fully. There is such variety in the leaves from one to another. Here are tales from a …

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Tea Threes

Tea threes are a way to approach your tea time enjoyment. Three seems to be a number that comes up a lot, so why not apply it to teas? Genies, when extruded from their lamps via the sufficient amount of polishing of the lamps’ exteriors, grant you three wishes. A great time to wish for …

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Review — Organic Assam TGFOP by The English Tea Store

Name: Organic Assam TGFOP Brand: English Tea Store Type: Black Tea Form: Loose leaf Review:  While some organic teas are distinguished by being over-priced and of mediocre quality (yet easily marketed because they are labeled "organic"), The English Tea Store's Organic Assam TFGOP is not one of them. In fact, it is to the English …

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Review — The English Tea Store’s Tarajulie Estate Assam

Name: Tarajulie Estate Assam Brand: English Tea Store Type: Black tea, Assam Form: Loose leaf Review: The dry leaf is dark brown, somewhat broken and small, sparingly sprinkled with a few tips. It has little discernible fragrance when dry and doesn't even smell like much once infused to a surprisingly light bodied copper liquor. The …

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Major Assam Tea Estates

When Robert Bruce first brought tea plants smuggled out of China to India, he discovered that the inhabitants of the Assam area were already enjoying tea made from a tea bush varietal growing wild (Camellia Sinensis assamica). He set about cultivating the plant and in a few years tea was being exported to London. Today, …

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Battle of the Assam Estate Teas

Our Assam tea collection is growing, no surprise since it is one of our favorite tea types. With over 300 tea estates in the Assam Province in northeastern India, this tea is also certainly plentiful. Time for a battle of the Assam Estate Teas (no, not all of them — just a select few). How …

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What Is “Orthodox Assam”?

Assam teas have two basic quality designations: CTC and Orthodox. There are further distinctions from there, but these two are the starting points. I already explored CTC. Now it’s time to look at what “Orthodox Assam” tea is. Generally, Orthodox Assams are higher quality, less likely to be bitter, and contain more subtle and multi-layered …

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Bad Milk = Bad Tea

Many tea drinkers throughout the world consider milk an essential part of their tea enjoyment. Others wouldn’t let that white liquid near their teacups. To each his own. One thing is for sure: bad milk in your tea is a total bummer. If you don’t use milk in your tea, you can stop here and …

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What’s This “Clonal Tea” Stuff Mean?

There’s a mystery floating around in the world of tea, and it’s name is “Clonal.” Well it’s not that mysterious. I just keep seeing the word “clonal” in the name of teas reviewed on review sites, and I’ve even reviewed a couple of “clonal” Darjeeling teas myself. Time for a little exploration. Basically, “clonal” comes …

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Review — Harney & Sons Irish Breakfast Teabags

Name: Irish Breakfast Brand: Harney & Sons Type: Black tea, Assam blend Form: Paper tea bags Review: I’m not much for tea bags, and even less enthused about paper tea bags and the teas that they contain. While paper tea bag tea isn’t necessarily bad, it is typically one-dimensional. The fine particles of tea may …

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