Trying again. Cleaned the pot and everything and have had both a green and an oolong that didn’t go yunnan-y, so I’m feeling confident that it’ll go better this time.
Yes, I do indeed have a much better result now. It’s super-smoky on the nose and quite spicy. A little oaky but not much and there is a hint of rye. (I feel like I’m getting better at describing the aroma. It may not make that much sense to others but I know exactly what I mean). If I really flare out my nostrils and concentrate on it, I think I can pick up some underlying sweetness, but it’s very very slight)
Surprising touch of spice on the flavour. My initial sip involved a small black pepper association, which may or may not have been the smoky combined with the fact that it’s still a wee bit too hot to drink. It’s not there in the second sip, here it’s just smoke in surprising amounts. Really. Surprising.
Underneath that there is the rye-y slightly oaky body of it. It’s a little prickly and evasive. I had expected many things from this tea. I had not expected it to be shy. Come on out and play, Jackee… How can something so smoky be so shy, I don’t understand it!
As the tea cools the flavour appears to become more couragous as well, coming out more and becoming larger. I wouldn’t say it’s the heavy silkiness that others have described, so I’m not sure I’ve managed to find the elusive caramel. I wasn’t really expecting to either, I don’t typically have that kind of luck.
Of course I’m a little disappointed that I failed at caramel, but for what I actually got, it’s still rather nice. I’ll enjoy the rest of the leaves. And I shall give it another go. Yes. I won’t have to be annoyed at myself for not realising that A&D was unavailable to me before it was too late to try S2 (also have a sample of Thomas Sampson to try, also courtesy of Auggy )
ETA: What a minute, what was that? What the…? It’s not a lot, but at this point, halfway down the cup, there does seem to be a slight sweetness to it. It’s not a lot. It’s very very slight and it may be my imagination. But where did that come from all of a sudden?! That’s not fair when I’ve already posted!