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China Breakfast from Rishi Tea

Rishi China Breakfast Tea


Varieties of tea leaves go through so many different trade names! Keeping up with the differences can seem impossible when you have to deal with branding, translations, and personal preference. Luckily, we have an entire Internet as our guide.

Take Rishi's China Breakfast, for example. What are we getting into? Rishi's website describes this as "a pure Dian Hong style black tea harvested from Yunnan's antique tea trees." (We're going to ignore the flavor notes for now, while we create our own.)

If we take the statement from Rishi alone, we're still clueless. Wikpedia tells us that a dianhong describes black tea from the Yunnan province, with "golden tips," and that it produces tea "with a sweet, gentle aroma and no astringency."

Loyal readers will know that your Pittsburgh Tea Examiner is big ol' jerk about astringency, and thinks this is the best description we can hope for.

There's a whole, specific process on the books for brewing teas of this quality, but we find it difficult to believe that most folks getting tea from Rishi aren't on their way to a formal ceremony, and are instead probably tossing it into a tea ball. (Sorry, Rishi. No offense!)

The point about not overbrewing it stands, though. Three-to-five minutes, everyone; you want to make sure your tea is sweet and smooth, especially if it's able to help you out with that naturally.

After Brewing

Expectedly, but still nice to know, Rishi's China Breakfast does come out of the water with a medium-brown-to-bronze color. This cannot be mistaken for muddy hot water, like so many inferior teas; this tea permeates until we arrive at the beverage created when the first humans found a sodden Camellia Sinensis bush in a hot puddle.

. . . All right; that's overblown, but it's a good brew. Sweet and rich. You won't want to drink this with your meal, necessarily, because it's got its own unique flavor, which is what you're paying for.

At the same time, it's not quite as strong as the teas we traditionally think of as "breakfast" teas -- namely, English and Irish. This will take kindly to a little cream (though you won't need it, like you often will with English Breakfast), but you won't want to drown it, and it's not exactly a replacement for your morning coffee, if you're into that starkness.

What Rishi's China Breakfast can mean for you is a smooth, rich beverage after dinner, perhaps, or to drink while you work at your job or your hobby. Something to enrich your day; to make you feel extra well about yourself. Who can pass that up?

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