Woke up to a gray, yucky-looking morning on my day off. Almost made myself a cup of Black Dragon Pearl, but decided to let it stretch a little longer and revisit my English Breakfast. This is one of those teas that I’ve been going back and forth on. I got it as a part of Adagio’s Silk Road Sampler of Chinese black teas. At first I was underwhelmed, then I kinda liked it, then I was kinda underwhelmed, then…
The leaves are dark colored with a deep, sweet smell, and the liquor is the gorgeous reddish hue of any good black tea. As one of the other Steepsterites pointed out, Adagio’s teas tend to brew a little light, but I’ve found that if you give them a little help (or time, if it’s a tea that won’t oversteep), the color becomes what it should. Sliiiiiiiightly earthy/mushroomy twinge in the same sweet aroma that I got from the dry leaves.
This is one of the “earthy” teas. I saw the words “damp,” “woodsy,” “earthy,” and “mossy” come up in a lot of the reviews I read of this tea, and I find myself agreeing. The image that comes to mind is (I’m so original!) the mossy floorbed of a deep, dark forest. Slight astringency, if that’s the right word. If it tasted like it smelled, it would probably be one of my favorites; as it is, it’s a decent tea but I don’t think I would buy it again.
EDIT: I’m currently on cup three of the same brew, same first infusion. But now I’m getting a little more malty? Perhaps it’s because I’m not eating a Nutri Grain bar at the same time. :P This is more of the flavor I like.