I made a brew today with a little more tea than yesterday – say a ‘very well-heaped’ teaspoon as opposed to merely a heaped one – three minutes, boiling water.
As with yesterday’s brew, 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.
In the nose, I’m getting good basic tea, dark chocolate and hints of rotten wood and beef gravy or Oxo or some such.
In the mouth I’m getting good basic tea. There are touches of dried-fruitiness, similar to raisins or sultanas, and of chocolate and toffee. There is a tiny hint of a peppery, firm grassiness – or, perhaps, tiny hints of grass and pepper – it’s white pepper rather than black and just the tiny-tiniest hint – nothing at all unpleasant. It has what I always think of as a satisfying thickness – I suppose this simply means that it’s not thin and watery, but I notice the ‘thickness’ more in evidence in some good teas than in other, equally good teas.
Well, it might not look much better on paper, but this really is a much better cup of tea than yesterday’s – stronger notes and more complex. The little extra dry tea has made a big difference.
I made a second infsuion with the same tea – boiling water and three minutes, again.
It’s a slightly less intense colour than the first.
The aroma has the rotten wood element more to the fore, touches of fruitiness and basic tea. I’m not sure that I’m getting the chocolate any more – it may be there mingled-in with the wood note.
The very first thing I get in the mouth is that the grass and pepper thing is much more evident – it’s newly-mown lawn with a hint of pepper to it. There is good basic tea there, too, but a little firm – not like stale tea, exactly, but hinting a little in that direction – not really enough to be unpleasant, though. There are the tiniest hints of dark chocolate and butter well in the background. It still has that satisfying ‘thickness’.
I added an extra sweetener to counteract the firmness of the basic tea note – which wasn’t really a problem in the first place, but it tasted as if I’d come a bit short on the sweeteners, somehow. This quite got rid of that staleness thing and emphasised the buttery smoothness – but now it’s a little too sweet (this reminds me that it’s time I cut down from three to two sweeteners – see my side panel). It’s a really good cup of tea, though.
So, to sum up, these two infusions were a noticeable improvement on yesterday’s – I must remember to really heap the spoon in future – and I’m going to up the rating a bit. This is not one of those delicate, refined teas to savour by itself with your full concentration, though (unless the fancy takes you that way, of course) – I’d describe it as a good, robust tea for everyday drinking with meals.
I really have too many sweeteners in this – bleurgh!!!