494 Tasting Notes
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @98C, steeped five minutes.
A heavy artificial cherry flavour, like cough drops or cough syrup. Some acai notes. Coffee and roasted mate. Something sharp in the scent — probably juniper. Hibiscus comes out more with each sip. Damn it, why hibiscus? It ends up dominating everything it touches. (I loathe hibiscus. I knew it was in the blend, but I remain optimistic that it will work this time, somehow … it never does.)
Four sips in and I have to toss it. I want to like this. Can’t stop thinking about cherry Vicks drops.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 95C, steeped four minutes 30 seconds.
Hmm. I see on the package it recommends 4 to 7 minutes — odd, for a black tea. I’ll try the longer steep next time.
I got a sample of this, iced, in a DavidsTea store about an hour ago and loved it. My hot cup here at home is good, too: a better balance of tea and spices than usual from DavidsTea. I like the slight winey-note from the cloves. I adore cloves. And I can taste tea in this blend, too — some Ceylon, maybe. Not an everyday tea for me, as I prefer straight teas, but a winner for a flavoured tea.
1 bag for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes.
A huge box of these teabags came to me from a friend in England. In North America, PG Tips is a pleasant, if dull, supermarket black tea, mostly Ceylon, I think. The English version is quite different.
The liquor is almost red, like a decent Keemun. I wonder of there’s some Keemun in the blend, as there’s a faint – very faint- smokiness and bitterness. Some Assam, I think, giving heft, and something lighter, giving some astringency to the finish. Delicious and full, without coating the mouth as some Assams and Kenyans might. A very pleasant surprise. It reminds me of how Twinings English Breakfast used to taste, many years ago, only much better.
1,5 tsp plus a punch for 300mL water @10C, steeped four minutes.
This is a second infusion, from leaves I steeped yesterday morning for three minutes. I meant to steep the leaves a a second time yesterday in a travel mug and take it to work, but, as usual, I got distracted. I was a but concerned this morning about re-steeping damp leaves left in a strainer 24 hours in some heat and humidity, but this tea is too good to waste. I added a pinch of fresh leaf and poured the water.
The second infusion was identical to the first. The pu-erh darkness mellowed slightly, but only slightly. A potent and nuanced blend, and a joy to drink.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped five minutes Western style.
Yeah, don’t do what I just did. I got distracted — damn it, I need a timer in my study for when I make tea — and my precious sample Laoshan Black is bitter. Cocoa-bitter. It’s still a lovely tea, and I can handle some bitterness, but this expensive error reminds me that good tea is often delicate tea and needed careful treatment.
As it cools, some of the sweeter notes are coming out. Still, it’s over-steeped, and it’s my own fault.