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Michael Lewis  

I got my start in tea thanks to a former employer who hired me as a gardener. Every day I came to work, he had a different variety of tea brewing that he shared with me, along with my first understandings of the great beverage. As a former tea broker, he was very knowledgeable, and I tasted a great many varieties this way. Fast forward several years to today, I've amassed my own decent collection of teas from a variety of sources, such as Adagio, Harney & Sons, Teavana (while it was around), and others from Yunnan. The majority of my tea is done in a Western brewing style in a filtered brewing cup or teapot, but I have recently begun dabbling in Gongfu brewing for my oolongs and pu 'erh teas and have been very satisfied with the results. I'm always on the lookout for new tea varieties, eager to continue my tea journey.

User's reviews

  • JASMINE SILVER NEEDLE WHITE TEA

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    Recently rediscovered this little gem in my collection. Aged (unintentionally) for about 4 years, the jasmine flavor is delicate and delicious. The tea itself is lightly vegetal and nutty, but not overwhelming. Pricey, but expected with a silver needle.

  • YERBA MATE

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    "I think I'll give this yerba mate thing a try." - Me, before ordering. "Holy MOLEY, this is different!" - Me, after my first sip. If you're like me and you love all kinds of teas, but never had a taste or real mate, you're going to be in for a surprise. Like a fine scotch or brussel sprouts, yerba mate is an acquired taste. Not only is it not tea, as in the actual tea plant, but it's earthy and bitter, like black coffee. So brace yourselves, first-timers! On the flip side, the caffeine boost it gives is very nice, and it's a bit fun seeing the look on coworkers' faces when they spy me sipping out of a gourd through a long bend metal straw. As far as this mate goes, I like it, based on the small variety I've had. Smell is vegetal and unique. I'm still working on my taste for mate with this one, so my thoughts will likely change with time.

  • Jasmine Chun Hao

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    Nice jasmine-scented green I bought for my wife after she got hooked on this style at a restaurant (definitely better than the restaurant's version). Has all the nice aspects of green tea, with a nice jasmine aroma. Agree with the previous review in that less is often more with this one. Jasmine can be too much of a good thing if taken too far.

  • White Darjeeling

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    Absolutely one of my favorite white teas in my collection! Wonderful crisp taste and aroma. Higher priced than many teas (whites tend to be higher-priced in general, in my experience), so I buy sparingly. Definitely experimenting with number of steeps so I can get as much flavor out of the amount of leaf I have left!

  • Jade Oolong

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    Great oolong that's easy to drink. If you're new to oolongs, I like this one as a starter. Good for Western brewing (follow the directions), but great when brewed Gongfu-style (higher leaf to water ratio in a gaiwan or clay pot). The flavors really come out with more leaf, and it's easy to get multiple good steeps this way.

  • Fujian Rain

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    Great oolong tea with nice spicy notes. Dry leaf smells slightly smoky to me. Nice daily drinker for me, and even better when brewed gongfu-style in a gaiwan. Just play with higher leaf-to-water ratios.

  • DRAGONWELL GREEN TEA

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    Nice green tea with a great history behind the style. Certainly nutty aroma, which I believe grows slowly with age. I've held on to a canister of this for a couple years now, and it still tastes nice, though the flavor is slightly diminished since it was fresh. Still, a nice staple green tea to keep on hand, and one I won't be tossing out anytime soon.

  • Masala Chai

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    Since my mom swears by her chai lattes, I picked up a bag of this to test out. It's hands down the spiciest tea I own, and really unique in my collection. Cinnamon and cloves are dominant flavors, and really make a good holiday-time brew. Just make sure if you transfer into a container that chai is the only thing you plan on putting in it after. The scent lingers. For chai fans, this is a nice one.

  • Lapsang Souchong

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    Very unique tea! Dry leaf is a bit like hanging your head over a BBQ pit. Brew this and the whole room will smell like the tea (good or bad, depending on your opinion). I wouldn't suggest this as a first-time tea, but something to work up to.

  • AOH Hibernian Blend

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    Small leaf size makes this a nice strong brew. Very similar to standard Irish Breakfast, but with a bit more punch, I think. Nice to know that some proceeds go to the AOH to help promote the Irish heritage!

  • Ceylon Sonata

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    Nice, straight forward black tea. Great for blending with additional ingredients for a custom flavored tea. I'd be curious how it does with cold brewing throughout the day.

  • Irish Breakfast

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    My favorite black tea to start the morning with. Dry leaf has a nice "jammy" scent (makes me think of strawberry jam on toast), and goes best, in my opinion, with a slash of milk and sugar. 5 minutes at 205 degrees is my usual brew routine.

  • Sleeping Dragon

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    Great green tea for new drinkers. Lacks much of the grassiness many green teas have, while still delivering on great flavor. Fun to watch all the little "dragons" flying around the brewing vessel (I suggest something clear) before they finally settle.

  • Scottish Breakfast

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    I was surprised how much of the pepperiness comes out of the dry leaf. The tea itself is tasty, with a stronger kick, in my opinion, than my usual Irish breakfast. Takes milk and sugar well.