Review: Best International Tea S. D. Bell’s English Breakfast

Best International Tea, Black Tea, English Breakfast Tea Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"It has a strong wine component with a good backing of malt and some honey sweetness."
Katie’s Teaview: 6.5/10
Other Teaviews: Dave gave it 5.5/10, Melanie gave it 8.5/10
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I'm going to begin this review with one of my favourite pastimes: Ranting. Best International Tea does ship internationally, so good on them, especially considering their name. However, I put together a sample cart and found that they had two main options for my 4-ounces of tea. I could choose UPS standard for the exorbitant price of $28.37 or I could choose UPS Worldwide Expediated® for the no-one-is-that-desperate price of $104.42. And the free shipping if you spend over a certain amount doesn't apply to international orders.

It gets worse, and this is the part of my rant that's actually useful to know. Most international shipping options (FedEx, USPS, etc.) include the brokerage fees. Brokerage fees cover the cost of a broker, who is essentially someone who makes sure the over-the-border paperwork goes smoothly. These fees are included in your shipping costs through UPS Worldwide. They are not, however, included in the UPS standard fees. Why does this matter? Because these fees can be obscenely high. If you spend $101 on tea from this company, you also pay $48 to ship it, then you get the $30 brokerage fee tacked on. So that shipping fee, which isn't completely unreasonable considering shipping costs to Canada, does become ridiculous once you add in the extra fee that you may not know about. End rant.

The leaves of this tea are very small and choppy, as one would normally expect from an English breakfast. I steep them with boiling water for three minutes. The deep burgundy liquor smells malty, winey, rich, and robust. It has a strong wine component with a good backing of malt and some honey sweetness. It's very acidic but there's minimal bitterness and no astringency. It's inexpensive and pairs well with milk and/or sweetener. It doesn't stand out as an English breakfast in either a good or bad way, and it hits all the notes you'd expect.

Would I buy it? Because of shipping logistics, no. If it was sold by a company that I was already buying from, I wouldn't jump on it, but I might tuck it into a cart just for funsies. Because at this price, you may as well.

— To purchase Best International Tea S. D. Bell’s English Breakfast, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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One Response to “Review: Best International Tea S. D. Bell’s English Breakfast”

  1. Chelsy Says:

    And this, my dear, is why it is amazing that we stayed friends in the first place- we both are incredibly rantilicious people.

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