Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tea Review 41 - China, Irish & English Breakfast

China Breakfast
Tempest Tea

Farnum Street Special Morning Tea
Emperor Norton English Breakfast

For the life of me I can't fathom the practice of ruining fine black tea with milk/cream and/or sweeteners. Cheap black tea, maybe I can see, but then again I can't fathom why anyone would drink cheap tea. Better to drink none at all...I think.

Maybe if I were English or Irish and had been culturally indoctrinated into the practice of defiling fine English or Irish breakfast tea this way I'd feel differently. But I'm not and I don't.

I guess what I'm getting at is that even with the beefiest of Assams and breakfast blends I still prefer to see that deep brown hue and enjoy the eye-opening robust flavor untainted.

Now that I've finished offending millions of tea drinkers worldwide, let's get on with the review. Of the three breakfast varieties I've sampled recently Tempest Tea's curiously named China Breakfast was certainly no slouch. The one I tasted came packaged in a small "gourmet" type pyramid tea bag. It was very robust, but also quite smooth and not particularly malty. A very dark blend, perhaps the "China" was not so far off base since it kind of reminded me of some varieties of Keemun.

Of the two breakfast teas from Alltea.com, I preferred the Farnum Street Special Morning Tea, though it was a close call. An Irish Breakfast tea, it's a "blend of Assam and Ceylon estate teas."

The other, the Emperor Norton English Breakfast, boasts a "twist of Darjeeling" among its flavor makeup, which is exactly the quality I would unwittingly have attributed to the Farnum Street Special Morning. But hey, what do I know?

All in all, a good trio if you need to get those eyelids peeled open in the morning.

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