I can’t believe I bought a 100 grams of, let’s face it, fannings! I mean, I knew it was CTC and I was sceptical about that, but as I was buying the Tanzania (again) and I have this budding fascination with the African continent’s tea offerings, I couldn’t not get it. This and the Tanzania are the only African blacks they’ve got. I do wish they would look into getting a better Kenya because the fact that this one is CTC makes it seem rather pedestrian compared to just about everything else they’ve got. I can’t say for sure if it really is, but it’s the only CTC I can recall having seen from them ever.
So, uncharacteristically I opted for using a filter bag with this one. There is no way that my otherwise wonderful strainers would have a chance against this sort of leaf size. Or lack of leaf size. I also used only 3/4 of my usual number of teaspoons of leaf.
And it was a good thing I did because I ALSO forgot to set the timer, so when I came back to get it I had to test-taste a mouthful in order to find out if it was necessary to make a new pot. To my vast surprise, it was fine. A CTC steeped for at least 5 minutes unattended and it’s fine. Shocking! I was going to do it at 3…
But then when I really start tasting the cup, I discover why it didn’t go wrong. There’s nothing here TO go wrong. This is just about the dullest, blandest tea I’ve ever met. In spite of the tiny leaf size, there is very little aroma or flavour here to speak of. A bit of astringency on the end of the flavour, but anything else you have to search for. And the more you keep the tea in your mouth to try and find other flavours in it, the more you only find the astringency.
The aroma at least has a hint of something woodsy and slightly malty. It’s just a shame that so little of it comes across in flavour.
Perhaps I should not have been so cautious with the leaf amount, CTC or not. I’ll have to experiment some more with that, I guess, although it is very much against my better judgment to not be cautious with CTC leaf amounts. This cup more resembles something that usually comes in cheap teabags with a generic blend name, rather than something from a shop selling supposedly quality leaves. You know, the sort of blend where they have something proper to give the majority of the flavour and then stuff it with something cheap and filling to keep the price down and pretend it’s still lovely. This here then would be the something cheap and filling.
I really do hope I can find a way to improve this (a lot) because right now I’m so disappointed. If nothing else it’ll work as a morning tea when I don’t want to do an awful lot of thinking.