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Taking a whiff of the dry tea, I discerned a smokiness, much like smoked salami. Oddly, there is no smokiness to the taste, but there is a pronounced metallic aftertaste. This tea does not respond well to Western steeping: it is always bitter. Gongfu steeping improves it to almost the level of palatability. The taste is still acerbic, repelling the tongue and mouth, no longer with a shove, but still with a push. It’s astringency hits the stomach like a heavy weight, producing a lingering malaise.

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Mr Steep likes tea plain, or variously with lemon, fruit juice, honey, spices, cow’s milk or soy milk, as appropriate.

Mr Steep avoids flavoured teas: flavouring rarely makes something out of nothing.

Mr Steep applies this philosophy to good coffee, too.

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Calgary AB Canada

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