This is the most expensive tea I’ve ever bought and came in such a tiny amount (only enough for one cup) that I’ve been reluctant to try it in the course of my normal days. Today is the day I break open this excessively expensive packet of tea and see what the fuss is about.
The dry leaves are very similar to my favorite Upton tea, Bohea Select, which is not surprising since this is Bohea Select’s bigger and more elaborately hyped sister tea. The smell is similar to keemuns I’ve tasted with that slightly book-dry, slightly caramel smell. Upton says that there is a floral note there as well and I can barely smell it. As the tea develops in the cup it takes on greater sweetness. It brews into a paler color than my Bohea, but that just may be because I normally use a lot more tea than I received in this sample.
The taste is complex with the same keemun-like book dry and caramel notes as well as as a sweetness. There is no bitterness or astringency. It is a very enjoyable tea with a great deal of complexity that would be fun to explore. But is it worth $988 a pound to me? Probably not.