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94

In spite of the fears of bankruptcy I expressed in the last tasting note, I bought a 100g of this. So this is a tasting note for the new lot.

I made a brew with a well-heaped teaspoon brewed for four mintues, boiling water.

It made an intensely-coloured to the point of being opaque, slightly-yellowish, brown infusion.

The nose this time seems to be somewhere between digestive biscuits and pizza base. There’s just a hint of something else in there, somewhere between straw and good, sweet hay.

Sipping the tea, I get digestive biscuits and toffee, good basic tea, and a firm note rather like liquorice if you could imagine liquorice without any sweetness. This note is oddly contrasting because the immediate impression of the tea is the digestive biscuit and toffee sweetness; so it’s a sweet-flavoured tea with an unsweet note to it.

Taking a good mouthful of it, I get a touch of bitterness in the back of the throat, vaguely similar to stale tea. I’m a bit surprised by that – don’t like it.

I made a second infusion, four minutes and boiling water, again.

It’s still intensely-coloured but I can just see to the bottom of the cup.

I can smell faint touches of pizza base and butter.

Sipping it, the first thing I notice is orange, perhaps with the tiniest edge of orange-peel to it. There’s something like toffee or warm butter. Taking a bit more of a mouthful, there’s a very slight bite; it’s like cut grass with a barely noticeable pepperiness or gingeriness – difficult to pin down precisely – to it. There’s enough basic tea there not to be noticeable by its absence.

Taking more of a mouthful brings out the digestive biscuit stroke toffee thing – or perhaps it’s because it’s cooler. There’s definitely not bitterness or staleness there.

I’m finding this a rather more enjoyable cup than the first infusion – it’s excellent.

I made a third infusion for completion’s sake – same way.

It’s still quite an intense colour – I’d describe it as medium-intensity.

I’m not getting a lot in the nose – perhaps a hint of pizza base or raw dough. Then, after a sip or two, I started to get a hint of cut grass in the nose.

First little sip: that digestive biscuit note is really intense, really rich and sweet. That peppery or gingery grass thing is there with a little more of the bite, but not at all unpleasantly so – the bite is still not strong enough to identify more exactly. There’s butter and basic tea in there. Again, there’s absolutely no sign of the bitterness of the first infusion. As I get to the bottom of the cup and it’s quite cool, I’m getting just a hint of the orange again.

This is a lighter cup than the first two infusions, but it’s still an excellent cup of tea. It’s a bit like a delicate but very good Darjeeling.

I’m almost tempted to try a fourth infusion, just for curiosity; but I didn’t really want this one so I’ll stop there.

Well, I had reservations about the first infusion, but, going on the second and third infusions, I have to say this is a really excellent tea and I’m going to keep my rating the same.

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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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