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I used a heaped half-teaspoon (the instructions are for a level teaspoon – same difference) and steeped for three minutes, boiling water.

In the mug it’s clear but quite intensely-coloured, a red-brown showing yellow round the circumference.

There is a faint aroma of green vegetation.

In the mouth I’m getting good basic tea up front, with a slightly unsweet – but not unpleasantly so – note of green vegetation and a definite butteriness.

I made a second infusion, though Nothing But Tea doesn’t give a recommendation for one. It was surprisingly intensely coloured, though less so than the first infusion, but definitely a much weaker version of the first. It’s not really suitable for a second infusion – at best a borderline case, perhaps.

Just for curiosity, I made a brew with a heaped teaspoon, as opposed to a heaped half-teaspoon – boiling water and three minutes.

This was a mistake and it’s better to stick to instructions – it doesn’t look noticeably stronger than the half-teaspoon brew, though there seems to be a good basic tea aroma, but it’s definitely over-strong and I’m getting an unpleasant harshness in the flavour. There’s possibly the addition of a touch of chocolate, though, but that does nothing to compensate for the harshness.

To sum up, this is not very complex and really nothing that special, but it has good strong flavour notes and is a pleasant and satisfying brew – that’s when I stick to the instructions, of course.

Preparation
Boiling 3 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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