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Peet’s Teas: Assam Extra Fancy

May 02, 2007

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(7:13:03 AM) BF: *blink* That’s a curiously strong cup of tea.
(7:13:30 AM) BF: Weapons grade Assam.
(7:13:52 AM) Me: I didn’t use a full three tsp of tea for the pot, like I usually do.
(7:14:02 AM) BF: A 5 min steep?
(7:14:11 AM) Me: Yep. They said four to five.
(7:14:38 AM) Me: Yummy. Slightly floral start, nice winey flavor, good tannin bite in the finish.
(7:15:16 AM) BF: It has a very light mouth feel.
(7:16:37 AM) Me: Yeah. A classy tea. I could drink lots and lots. And then go ZOOOOOOOM!
(7:17:34 AM) BF: *chuckle* I’m going to hold off judgment until I have a couple more sessions with this one. I like my black teas to have a robust body, which I’m not yet getting off of this one. The sharp notes are a bit overpowering.
(7:21:21 AM) Me: It’s funny how it hits you right in the front of the mouth. Maybe because it’s so fragrant?
(7:21:32 AM) BF: Could be.
(7:22:14 AM) BF: I lose my ability to make many judgments after the first 1/3 of a cup or so.
(7:22:29 AM) BF: It starts becoming a matter of … tea … in mouth … make warm … NOW!

Peet's Assam Extra FancyYes, my boyfriend and I are such geeks that we chat about tea from our computers.

The tea that occasioned this exchange was Peet’s Assam Extra Fancy, a potent, very flavorful brew that is currently my favorite thing in the world to drink in the morning. It’s everything I want in a breakfast tea, with a strong, very fragrant and complex flavor, and a hearty dose of caffeine.

Although there are many wonderful places to buy tea in Seattle — including favorites Kuan Yin in Wallingford and the Teapot in Queen Anne — none of them are near my apartment on Capitol Hill. I have been so busy recently that getting out to local tea shops has become something of a challenge, so I have started experimenting with ordering tea online.

Probably because I’m not very adventurous (and because I have had good experiences ordering coffee from them in the past), I started with a small order from Peet’s Coffee and Tea. The shipping cost was reasonable (standard ground for $5.95 on orders of one pound or less) and I was impressed with how quickly my order arrived. I was also pleasantly surprised by the attractive and very functional tins the tea comes in.

I haven’t liked all of the teas I have ordered from Peet’s so far, but I have been uniformly impressed with the quality of their product. All of the Peet’s teas seem like better than average representatives of their type, even when I’m not overly enamored of that type. The Assam Extra Fancy is definitely my favorite so far, even though it’s a bit pricey at $12.45 for a four ounce tin. This probably isn’t all that expensive in the general scheme of things (that’s about three Starbucks lattes, isn’t it?), but it makes me feel like this is more of a special occasion drink.

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