95

I’m on my second mug of this and knew as soon as the first was cool enough to taste properly that this is really special.

I used a heaped teaspoon for each mug – which, as it’s a fine, granular sort of tea, means heaped as far as it would allow – and steeped for three minutes.

In the mug it’s extremely dark and opaque and I fancied I got an aroma of nettles. In the mouth it’s yet another of these teas with touches of chocolate and toffee – more towards the toffee, I think, but plenty of generic ‘tea’ taste and with the smoothness of the toffee nicely balanced with a clean, bright edge – possibly the flavour equivalent of that smell of nettles.

I’d describe this as quite a ‘robust’ sort of tea and it has everything – richness, smoothness and ‘bite’ – but all well balanced together. I’m quite surprised to note that this is one of the cheapest teas I’ve bought as – of the teas I’ve had so far, at least – I think this is going to be my ‘go to’ Assam.

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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