I decided to go for black tea over yerba mate – I like the yerba mate but it makes me too jazzed for writing. Saving that for later in the day when I’m flagging…
So, I opened up the bag of the Keemun Encore – wow, the leaves are so tiny! I really like the scent of this. It’s creamy and smokey in this wonderful dark way like the back of a cool cabinet.
After brewing it, I’m getting really strong smooth overtones of cream and honey. I tried it black first. Drinking it was… interesting. None of the sweetness of the scent translates into flavour, but the smokiness definitely does. It is pleasantly astringent, with a funny aftertaste that lingers. It’s almost metallic, along with the smoke. I’m actually picturing a soldier from the 1930s opening a cigarette case in a cave. How’s that for oddly specific tea imagery?
In its favour, the liquor is really really nicely thick. I’m not sold on the taste – going to add some milk to this cup and then try a second infusion. Not bad, the scent is great, the taste is slightly un-complex and a little “funny”.
ETA – I added milk and have completely changed my opinion. The milk brings all the creaminess and smokiness from the initial scent right to the front and takes away the metallic flavor. With milk, it is a really really nice drink. Still not wildly complex or anything but just really pleasant. Wow, what a difference!