Tea Note #100! And what a beautiful one it is. Although I’ve had a fairly interesting black tea from time to time, I tend to prefer flavored blacks as I’m not such a fan of traditional black teas. This tea, however, has changed my thinking. It is the most extraordinary black tea I’ve ever experienced.
These leaves, when dry, are like a huge tangled mass of extraordinarily long black fingers that cling to one another. They’re beautiful and almost a deep violet-black color. They remind me of ravens’ feathers. The scent didn’t remind me of anything other than what I’d pick up as a regular black scent. Perhaps very slightly peppery, but that could have been my imagination as I was thinking of a way to describe the color and pepper came to mind.
205/30 sec – The flavor is simply extraordinary. It is amazing! I love it. Really. It’s a rich flavor with an almost honey-like sweetness, kind of a dulce de leche flavor without the fullness. Raisins. I can taste raisins and I think that’s the flavor that fills my mouth first and most fully. There’s a very slight spiciness to it and I’m thinking that may be that pepper scent I picked up earlier. There is NO bitterness to it at all. It is slightly vegetal. It’s a really wonderful black tea. It is an expensive tea, but it’s such a wonderful treat.
My second steep of this tea will be for about five minutes, which, for me, is really going out on a limb. I detest bitter black tea, but having read the other reviews, I get the impression that this one will not let me down.
Update: I just tried the resteep at 4.5 minutes and I’m not liking it as much. I’m getting a marked astringency although no bitterness… yet. I think it makes sense as the shorter steep time pleased me so much. Samovar recommends 45 sec for the first steep, but as the Breville only works in 30 sec increments, I went with the lower time.