The instructions are for ‘2 – 5 mins’ so I split the difference and brewed for three and a half minutes with boiling water. This is one of those awkward-to-spoon, long-stranded teas, but I used a near-as-I-could-judge heaped teaspoon. Actually, as this is quite light in weight, I’m now wondering if I should have used two.
It made a quite dark, slightly orange, brown brew, clear, but intense enough in colour to be almost opaque.
In the nose: there is a very subtle, but rich, fragrance which is difficult to pin down – it seems to differ with different sniffs. I get a good, clean, basic tea, a roast beef or Oxo note, uncooked pastry dough and, sometimes, just a hint of flowers or perfume. As it cools and the level falls, I’m noting a ‘herby’ hint – possibly somewhere between thyme and sage, but just a hint.
In the mouth I get the good, clean basic tea (I should explain that: when I used cheap teabags, as far as I remember I got a single, basic tea note but it had a rather diffuse or ‘muddy’ taste which contrasted with the ‘cleaner’ or more ‘pure’ flavour of the best of the loose tea we used to have when I was a youngster, before teabags were so widespread – I taste the teas I have now as varying between these two extremes). The roast beef or Oxo note of the smell is not so noticeable. I’m getting a good, smooth butteriness rather than the dough thing. There’s a note that is somewhere between cut grass and the thyme-sage thing I noted for the aroma.
I made a second infusion, same way.
In appearance, the colour didn’t look any less intense than the first time, but there were oily spots on the surface.
There was less aroma: I think I could detect a very faint and fleeting butteriness and an equally faint grassy-metallic element.
In the mouth it was definitely less interesting than the first infusion – I didn’t get much apart from a faint, doughy butteriness and a little basic tea flavour.
This is a pretty good brew – the first infusion, at least; but I think that when I make a fresh one I’ll try two heaped teaspoons.