The first thing that I noticed when I opened my 1-kg bag of this (via Amazon) was how tiny the CTC leaf pieces were. They are so tiny! I can’t even steep it in my Beehouse teapot, whose filter has been fine enough for all my other teas besides rooibos. This made me sort of nervous about the quality of the tea. Actually, although the tea does suffer slightly from the leaf pieces being so small, it’s a good and satisfying cup with some character. A short steep is required, because the tannic spent-leaves taste comes out quickly; I recommend 2:30-2:45. I also noticed that as the tea cooled, the “tiny leaf” essence diminished; I feel like it was due to a genuine chemical change and thus it may be worth waiting a bit to drink.
Ntingwe Kwazulu is reminiscent of an Assam for its punch and overall feel, but it also has some Ceylon-esque briskness, making it more than just another PG Tips. Still, it lacks the smoothness of some other CTCs (e.g. The Simple Leaf’s American Breakfast) so it remains a good-to-great, not outstanding, tea.