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75

The instructions were for two to four minutes so I steeped this for three, boiling water, of course. I used a heaped teaspoonful. In the mug it made a clear, medium intense orange-brown, with a hint of yellow-green round the miniscus.

This is one of those odd teas where I seem to get a different aroma each time I take a sniff at it. First sniff, I got good, basic tea – a proper, old-fashioned cuppa. The second time I thought I got a hint of boiled cabbage. So I’ve been sitting here sniffing at it and, at various times, I’m sure I’ve had basic tea, boiled cabbage, digestive biscuits, pizza dough, warm butter … baffling!

Now to actually drink the stuff …

Tasting it is as much of a struggle – it’s shifting and elusive. There’s definitely enough good, basic tea in there – it’s a quite ‘satisfying’ brew. I get a hint of the digestive biscuits, too. There’s something firmer in the background: it’s something like cut-grass but not quite. Actually, I probably haven’t chewed on a blade of grass since my childhood, but I think that’s what I’m getting; it’s the actual taste of grass rather than an equivalent to the smell of new-mown lawns – but very faint. There’s a buttery smoothness to it. There’s something else faint in the background; not a bite, exactly, but some sort of richness that I just can’t pin down. It’s not dried fruit; it’s more savoury than that – perhaps like cakes or biscuits with ginger and cinnamon in the mix, or some sort of spicy pudding (dessert, not the meaty kind).

I made a second infusion, though the website doesn’t mention multiple infusions, and I really couldn’t detect any difference – it was pretty much the same cup of tea as the first one.

I wouldn’t class this as an outstanding tea, in the sense of standing out from lots of others; but it’s a perfectly good, enjoyable cup of tea.

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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