409 Tasting Notes
Drinking this iced (made in a Takeya flash chill tea maker – a great purchase!) – very, very refreshing. This is hands down my most versatile tea, and a staple must in my cupboard. Light, smooth, brisk and refreshing.
Something to drink lounged in a beautiful, summer garden.
I’m in the process of moving my desk at work, and so I’m clearing up a good amount of clutter. Imagine my surprise when I found three pouches of good tea and one tea sample hidden at the back of one of my drawers? I immediately stopped moving, and had a cup of this lovely tea, brewed Western style, and shared with my moving mate.
Well, whoever though of coupling bright, acidic, delicate Darjeeling with not-too-much bergamot was a GENIUS. They go fantastically together, dancing with refreshing delight on our parched and dusty tongues and throats. The bergamot leaves room for the Darjeeling to sing, and the Darjeeling flavours are enhanced, not overpowered by the bergamot. One of the few cases where flavouring and tea meet together to create a bigger, better whole (in my opinion – I don’t like flavoured/scented/smoked tea).
Drinking this tea iced – and it is fantastic! A great way to unwind after a long and eventful day. The golden tea is malty, slightly fruity, with a touch of astringency that finishes off the cup. Although it smells like a Mi Lan Phoenix Dan Cong when dry, it has very little in common with it. There’s an oily smoothness to the liquor, and no pronounced floral aromas.
The dry leaves of this tea are very small and delicate, and black, and remind me of the leaves of a good Ceylon BOP, only darker. This lead me to expect a dark and powerful brew, but this tea is closer to a Ceylon, a light black tea, than to an Assam or Kenya. It’s sweet, with a more ethereal and subtle taste than any Ceylon that I had – and no astringency! It’s very light bodied, almost a cross between Ceylon and Darjeeling, and it’s not at all suitable for milk. If you sweeten your tea, use less sugar than you would normally use – a very small amount of sugar will enhance the tea’s taste, but too much will overpower it. I don’t think that it needs sugar, but it can take sugar.
I brewed it 5 times Western style, and only on the sixth brewing did it lose flavour.
This is going into to be one of my favourite black teas – drinking it was like meeting an old friend that you haven’t met in years, but suddenly run into, and then discover that you miss each other, and have more in common than you ever had, and you ought not to lose sight of each other every again. It’s the tea that you never knew was missing from your cupboard, but that you don’t ever intend to run out of once you’ve found it.
I’ve decided to borrow something from my fountain pen ink reviews into my Steepster reviews: how easy is it to clean up after a tea, once the leaves are spent.
This tea gets a 3/10 in that category – its small leaves are EVERYWHERE! You also have to be careful not to clog up the sink with them, and make sure that you use a strainer – the leaves are so small that some will get through the pot’s strainer and try to be nuisance in your cup.
This is a very unusual Assam. There’s some bitterness at the end of each sip, but it’s gentle, not unpleasant, and it only enhances the malty caramel sweetness of this tea. There’s also surprisingly little astringency, and a relatively light body. This makes me think that perhaps milk would overpower its subtle flavours. A very good, atypical Assam