Dry: blackberry, purple grape skin
Wet: muscatel-Darjeeling-like aroma with a vegetal spiciness
Leaf: traditional orthodox black tea with uniform color and some reddish tips-threads. (personal note : largest leaf I have ever had the chance to try from this country)
Cup: a dark orange-brown umber, dull brass colored liquor. Milk bodied with a building tannic/astringent character, intense blood orange flavor and almost Darjeeling-like spiciness.
I wanted to include something rare and special for this post, as I try and balance the number of posts to the proportion of those I watch and teas in the cupboard. I recieved this as a sample a while back and something about the humid, hot days of summer makes me crave black teas, particularly those from Africa. There is such an amazing terrior in this cut of leaf and such a contrast to Assam, Ceylon, and China. The amazing profile ranges are always so eye opening.
I wrote the description a while back, but in revisiting it this morning, there was a more pronounced note of caramel on the dry aroma and a deeper dark fruity profile in the cup. There is a flavor that is distinctive that you can pick up as ‘iced tea’ as so much of the teas from Africa get pushed into bags and hidden against other flavors because its cheap; this is sad as the tea itself has a wonderful profile on its own.
I was only able to find 2 retailers that carry this tea : Upton and Harney and Sons. You can bet this is on the menu as a blending ace, but if you get the chance try it on its own – it will surprise you!
I used a traditional cupping set for the original description and I’m using a Tawianese Gawain this morning. 3g per 6oz in 185-190 degree water for 3-4 mintues.