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I actually got it a bit wrong with this.

The instructions are for 1g per 100ml, which is, for my mugs, normally a well-heaped teaspoon, which is about 2.5g. The trouble is, this is so coarse and long and straggly in the dry that I couldn’t handle it with the spoon. So I used my fingers and weighed it on the kitchen scales. The trouble was that I absent-mindedly weighed out 1g instead of 2.5g.

Here’s the strange thing: it made an excellent cup of tea – I mean really, really excellent.

It made a quite intense clear-brown infusion and didn’t look at all too weak for a black tea.

The aroma is a little odd – it seems to change. I sniff it and get that pastry dough or pizza base aroma; but another sniff will get a beautiful, grassy, perfumey, flowery aroma.

In the mouth, there is what immediately struck me as a ‘garden’ element. I mean the ‘lawns and flower beds type’ garden. It’s that warm evening perfume of damp lawns and mixed flowers, especially if there are a few lilies in the garden. There’s just enough good basic tea to it, and there’s a toffee or butter element adding body and smoothness.

Is it over the top to describe a tea as ‘sensuous’? I’ve got into a habit of describing teas as either ‘delicate’, as with Darjeelings, or ‘robust’ as with a Lapsang Souchong; but neither seems to fit, here. It seems on the delicate side, but it’s full-on and seductive, rather than delicate and refined. I’m now sorry that I used that ‘Theda Bara of teas’ crack about the Turzum ‘Muscatel Dream’ because it would fit much better here.

I made a second infusion – same way.

It was a little lighter in colour and I thought the aroma was now more grass than flower.

The flavour is still pretty good, but different. The basic tea element has developed a little toastiness, bringing it more to the fore; the floweriness is reined back a bit and it’s a little more grassy. Having mentioned the Turzum ‘Muscatel Dream’, above, it strikes me that this second infusion could very easily be the first infusion of a good Darjeeling – it’s that sort of flavour.

I made a third infusion – same way. This was too many and the tea was much less intense in colour and rather lacking in flavour.

I’m not going to rate this at the moment. I’ll wait till another day when I’ve used the correct amount of dry tea. Having said that, it was so excellent as it was that it hardly seems worth the bother of trying a larger amount.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Happily retired male.

Started exploring ‘proper’ tea in March, 2010 after decades of PG Tips teabags. I was initially looking for ‘the perfect tea’; now I don’t want to find one – I’m so much more enjoying exploring the variety.

A confession: I take my tea with four sweeteners to a half-pint mug.
28/05/2012 – I’ve decided to wean myself off the sweeteners, starting this morning, so, three per mug instead of four (I’m getting a growing feeling that I’m failing to get the best out of some of the oolongs and greens I try and I intend getting a gaiwan and the appropriate little cups, and sweeteners don’t seem to be appropriate, there). 16/02/2013 – since New Year’s Day I’ve only been using two sweeteners. I’m struggling to get used to it, to be honest – some teas are more difficult than others.

How I make tea: either in a traditional teapot which holds enough for three half-pint mugs and has a removable infuser (London Teapot Company); or in a half-pint mug with an Agatha’s Bester filter. Sometimes I vaguely think about getting some nice, genteel cups and saucers …

Important: I measure the tea with plastic kitchen measuring spoons – teaspoon and half-teaspoon sizes – so when I say a ‘heaped teaspoon’, as the correct measure is a levelled one, I should probably be calling it ‘two teaspoons’!

Location

Derbyshire/Staffordshire, UK.

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