We have already covered how Cteresa sent me Brave Tea. This one is in the category of Interesting Tea, and this is actually the reason she sent me an envelope in the first place. It’s all a way to encourage my little African kick. Mozambique! Another country I had no idea even drank tea! Now I need to make sure to include that Rwanda black next time I order from Nothing But Tea (providing of course that I actually manage to order. I’ll make damn sure next time that I do it properly!)
As this one was suggested that I try following a less than satisfactory go at a Kenya, and as I was informed to not expect miracles as this was also a CTC tea, I have to take a moment here to compare leaf size between the two. Yes, the Mozambique is a CTC as well, but compared to the Kenya, the leaf size of the Moz is still twice as large. I find this bodes well.
This is not presently part of my sample finishing project. Cteresa included enough that I can get two small pots out of it, and as my better half is at work, he obviously can’t share a larger pot with me.
It brews up a dark and strongly aromatic cup. In a previous post Cteresa finds that it’s similar to a generic Ceylon, and I agree with that. It has that malty, bold sort of smell with a note of something kind of wooden. Not rooibos wood-y, just general woodyness. Kind of spicy as well, but not very.
At this point I’m actually a little uncertain if I made it too strong after all. Surely such a powerful aroma has to come from somewhere. As it turns out, however, this does not seem to be the case. This is actually a pretty smooth cup. It’s not super-smooth in the way that a really good Chinese can be, but it’s definitely getting there. Again, I agree with the Ceylon comparison, only a little smoother. This doesn’t taste like a very finicky tea, and I tend to prefer those. A tea that it’s near impossible to wreck, that’s always a good point in my book. I’m in it for the taste, not the challenge. :)
Of course it might turn out that I could have just as easily ruined it by too much leaf or not paying attention to the steeping time, but I didn’t so we’ll go with that.
The very first note I get from a sip is something that invokes a complete absence of colour. Not a non-synesthesia reaction, but actual complete blackness as in total absence of… well everything. I’ve never had that one before, and I’m not sure I like it. It feels slightly malevolent. Ironically, the actual flavour of that note is rather nice in a morning tea. It’s all strong and powerful and ever so slightly very nearly something that could be thought a wee bit smoky. This is just at first, and then when I pay attention to it, it turns more in the direction of slightly floral in a Darjeeling-esque way, but without the grassy spicyness of the Darj. (This transition also rids me of that funny absence of colour experience in my brain. Most of the time synesthesia is kind of fun, but sometimes it’s just plain weird and makes me wonder if I should just try to stop paying attention to it at all, because it might make stuff like this a lot simpler)
As the cup cools, that Darj-y note develops a lot and the whole cup seems to turn into some sort of in between Darj and Ceylon thing, with the Darjeeling’s spicy greenishness and the Ceylon’s strength and malty base note. Had this been a blend I would not have found it strange at all, but as it’s a single region tea, I’m a bit puzzled by it. It makes it difficult for me to work out what I actually think of it. I mean I’m not very fond of Darjeeling, they just don’t appeal to me that much, and I have little experience with Ceylon and most of that was kind of forgettable, so…
I think it’s mostly in the Ceylon end of the spectrum, though. That base note of malty strength is really coming through a lot all the time and that note is pretty good. Very sweet for something completely unsweetened, and it leaves an aftertaste which is long and thick and a little bit sticky.
This works well as a morning tea indeed, and if one was the sort to take tea with a bit of milk, I expect this would handle the addition wonderfully.
I feel a bit like this whole post is a list of teas that the Moz is kind of like, only not…