552 Tasting Notes
3 tsp for a 500mL pot @ 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
I made this a little strong, but it was also a matter of emptying the packet.
My local indie tea shop, Britannia Teas and Gifts, is shifting to online. The bricks and mortar store is gone. I will remain an online customer, and I most definitely need to re-stock on this beautiful blended black tea.
Bright, winey, and malty, with a good body.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
Horns up, babeh!
Light to medium body China black teas with a mineral finish and a lovely bit of smoke. Doesn’t pack the caffeine punch of, say, a good Assam, but it does give a lift and a buzz. I miss the savoury note from the first edition of Caravan, but whaddya do — tea plants have a mind of their own. This is still one of the best Caravans I’ve ever had. Too many of them out there are dusty and point to the number one failing of many flavoured teas: a crappy tea base. Not this one. Caravan Resurrected can also be a very contemplative cup as you sit there and try to puzzle out all the nuances. Dry leaf looks a bit twiggy.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
A very good Ceylon. It doesn’t scream ‘copper’, like Lover’s Leap Estate does, but it is unmistakably Ceylon black tea. I tend for forget about it, as I like to around with the fancy China teas and the bold Assams, but Ahmnad’s Ceylon is quiet, dependable, and delicious. No bitterness at 4 minutes.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @95C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.
I am experimenting with cooler water on black teas, but for this robust blend, I think a full 100C boil does the best job of bringing out the creamy heft of Assam. The smokier (Keemun?) tea dominated and got a little bitter. Very enjoyable, still, and it gave me a great boost this evening.
5 tsp for 1,000mL water @ 95C, Breville, four minutes 30 seconds, basket cycle on.
Ohhhhh, yes, baby. I’ve been waiting to treat myself with this lovely Keemun in the Breville. Today’s been rough. Tonight means Keemun Hao Ya. (Breville Tea Maker, you are my friend.)
Toasty, winey. Orchids notes. Some smoke. Some grainy/cereal notes I’ve not picked up before, a bit like Grape Nuts; I guess that’s on the toasty end of the spectrum.
Addition: I normally drink my tea bare — no milk or sugar — but this evening I added maybe 2 tsp of 2% milk to this Keemun. The milk mutes the smokiness at first, yet seems to increase the smoke in the finish. Milk als amps up the wineyness. It’s nice, but I don’t enjoy it as much.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @95C, steeped three minutes and thirty seconds.
Oh, oh, OH! I can taste orchids! The slightly cooler water brings out this tea’s sweeter, more floral notes, almost oolong-y. I used cooler water by accident. The oak and smoke and minerals remain but are gentler. So clean. Really special.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, steeped four minutes.
A very enticing blend. Creamy heft from the Assam, muscat from the Darjeeling, wineyness from Keemun, fruitiness from the oolong, and a hit of jasmine. Drinking my second cup in less than an hour. Soothing and delicious.
I find this one tastes better when made with slightly cooler water.