There was a mix-up at Nothing But Tea’s suppliers and this note was on a brew made from tea mislabelled as China Oolong (o) (OC04), so I’ve cut and pasted the note to where it belongs.
I used a moderately-heaped teaspoon and allowed the water several minutes to go off the boil and steeped for two minutes. It was a quite pale, clear yellow-brown in the mug, with a slightly rusty aroma – possibly a little musty, too, like a second-hand book shop, plus the tiniest hints of chocolate or coffee and of the smell of beef roasting.
The flavour had reasonable basic tea taste and elements of chocolate and of the black, crusty bits on the surface of a good roast joint of beef.
I made a second infusion, the same way, with the same tea. I couldn’t detect any diminution in flavour and, if anything, it was more complex as now I detected a tiny hint in the flavour reminiscent of the smell of grass on a warm, humid day and this gave a tiny ‘edge’ to it. I’d actually class it as a slightly better brew than the first one.
I couldn’t resist a third infusion just for curiosity. This time the basic flavour elements are a little weaker (strangely enough, the tea doesn’t seem to smell any weaker) while that ‘smell of grass’ hint has strengthened towards a root-ginger ‘bite’. It’s now a somewhat different cup of tea and, to my taste, not quite so pleasant.
Quite a difficult tea, this one – I rather enjoyed it, yet I wouldn’t categorise it as anything special – quite robust elements to the flavour but no real complexity. I know this is not very meaningful, but I’d describe it as a ‘satisfying’ or, even, ‘comforting’ sort of brew.