I always keep a stock here and it’s one of my regulars to drink with meals, so I’m a little surprised that I haven’t made any tasting notes. So I’m making a special couple of infusions to do so.
The dry tea is made in the conventional wiry twists, but very, very finely so, so that it’s very easy to spoon out, and with a sprinkling of the little golden tips mentioned in the dealer-info; though they’re not heavily in evidence. Surprisingly, I really don’t get any aroma off it, even when rolling and crushing a little in my palm.
I made a brew with a heaped teaspoon steeped for three minutes, boiling water.
This made a brown infusion, perhaps just a hint reddish, and showing greenish-yellow round the surface circumference, and clear but so intensely-coloured as to be opaque until the level in the mug is quite low.
In the nose, I get good basic tea and a ‘fruitiness’ that I really can’t define more closely. There’s a tiny hint of chocolate.
In the mouth I get good basic tea and a toffee or butter note. It has that ‘satisfying’ feel to it and a sort of smooth ‘thickness’.
I made a second infusion with the same tea, three minutes again.
It’s an intense but transparent orange-brown, showing a greeny-yellow round the surface circumference.
I’m not getting a very strong aroma: there’s some basic tea and a slightly metallic hint; there’s possibly a touch of pizza base.
In the mouth I get basic tea and a touch of dark chocolate and a touch of butteriness. There’s possibly a hint of an ‘unsweet’ cut grass element, but it’s elusive and I’m really not sure of that.
Overall, I’d describe these two infusions as satisfying and quite enjoyable, but not particularly complex or interesting. I normally use this as an accompaniment to breakfast or lunch, rather than concentrating on and properly tasting it, and, concentrating on it, as I have with this brew, I’m rather surprised not to find it better than I do. It’s probably time I rethought my choice of ‘everyday’ blacks (that’s code for ‘a good excuse to get a pile of samples next time I put in an order’). It may turn out better with a different brew on a different day, of course – I obviously at some time was tasting it as something special.