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My sample of this was mislabelled as Golden Spiral and I first put the following note under that tea, so I’m transferring it here. Note that, as this is an oolong, in this note I’ve brewed at the wrong temperature:

This is from a small, free sample.

First of all, I have to say that this doesn’t look much like its picture. The strands are rather straighter and uniformly dark in colour – they’re quite big, coarse strands.

The instructions say two to four minutes so I brewed a cup for three minutes, boiling water, with a heaped teaspoon.

It made a clear, light to medium intensity, orange-brown brew, looking yellow-brown round the miniscus.

There was a quite strong aroma. It reminded me of green vegetation on a warm, damp day with a touch of freshly-turned soil, or, perhaps, the racks of vegetables in the supermarket – cabbages and various greens mingled with the smell of soil from the potatoes and so forth. It’s one of the strongest-smelling brews I’ve had for quite a while.

In the mouth it was a little bit of a surprise. The notes of the aroma are there, but mixed with a definite note of chocolate or cocoa. So it’s a combination of basic tea, earthiness, green vegetation and cocoa. It’s actually quite complex as I’m detecting elusive little hints, underneath. There’s a very, very faint bite, possibly that ‘smell of nettles’ note, or, perhaps, some herb, like thyme or rosemary. Again, I’m not sure if there was the tiniest hint of orange – vanishingly small, if it’s there.

This is an excellent mug of tea.

I tried a second infusion, though the website doesn’t mention multiple infusions – boiling water and three minutes again.

This was noticeably less intense in colour – a clear yellow-orange.

In the nose the green vegetation was less noticeable – the aroma was still unusually strong, but more earthy.

The flavour was much the same overall, though slightly ‘thinner’; but I couldn’t detect those tiny hints of orange and herbs.

This was quite a good cup of tea, but not as good as the first.

On the whole, I think I’d call this an excellent tea and I’m going to seriously consider buying some next time I put in an order to them.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
alaudacorax

It didn’t look like its picture because it was mislabelled, of course. Now this note’s in the right place it DOES look like its picture.

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alaudacorax

It didn’t look like its picture because it was mislabelled, of course. Now this note’s in the right place it DOES look like its picture.

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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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