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Suggestions for quality/economical black teas?

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Suggestions for quality/economical black teas?

sjauletta | Apr 25, 2007 08:34 PM

I have been drinking tea for a few years now, but only started brewing from loose leaves about a year ago. A few months ago, I picked up a few ounces of "Upper Namring Vintage Estate Darjeeling" from Ito En, which I am sipping my last cup of as I write this. The price of this particular tea is a bit expensive by my standards, and I'd like to find something that has a similar taste that I can buy in greater bulk. I understand that Darjeeling is typically an expensive tea, so I'm open to other kinds (although a cheaper-but-still-tasty Darjeeling would also be great).

I believe the quality of this Darjeeling that I enjoyed was its light astringency, so anything with that characteristic would be a good start. My other preference is that I like a decent amount of caffeine in my tea - I drink it in place of coffee, so I need something that will give me that boost. I also love putting the leftovers from my pot in the fridge and having it as iced tea the next day, so my ideal tea would taste good iced (with no sweetener). The Darjeeling is excellent iced, although that might be a waste, I guess...

Does anyone have any ideas? I live pretty close to Ito En in NYC, so I can take a walk down there and pick up a bunch of sample-sizes of whatever anyone suggests. I'm also open to mail-order, since I'm sure Ito En isn't the most economical place to buy tea (it's a few blocks from Central Park on Madison Ave...)

Thanks in advance!

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