When I opened the bag of tea and took a deep inhale, I was not immediately impressed. It smelled like tea.
But then I boiled the water and started to brew this, and wow, it’s gorgeous. The tea is a lovely amber color and the brewed tea smells exactly like the malted grains used in brewing beer. I mean exactly.
When the tea finally steeps and cools, and I take a sip, it tastes like it smells. Any homebrewer or beer aficionado would know this flavor. Grains can be malted a million different ways into colors from light to dark, and flavors from mild to strong. The flavor of this tea was in the mid-range, which happens to be my favorite.
I should have brewed this gong fu style, but I wanted a nice sip while I watched a film, so I used boiling water for around 4 minutes. There was a slight bitterness, but I made a second infusion, poured it into a tall mug with the first (gasp!) and drank it that way. It was excellent and less bitter than the first steep alone.
I also tried adding just a hint of rock sugar, maybe just 1/2 tsp, which cut the minimal bitterness and really let the malty flavor shine.
I didn’t really pick up other flavors, but whatever. It’s probably because I am malt-obsessed, so when that appeared, I didn’t care about anything else. I was thrilled with this tea.