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This makes a very pleasant cup of tea at its best. I get a good balance of a proper tea flavour and a ‘mild bite’ (if that makes sense) of something like orange or orange peel, a touch of fresh, sweet hay and, underneath, the tiniest perfume or flowery hint.

I say ‘at its best’ in this case because I’m finding it the devil’s own job to make a decent mug of tea with it. Making it exactly the same way twice doesn’t seem to necessarily mean identical cups of tea, and neither does increasing the amount of tea or length of brewing time seem to necessarily mean increasing the flavours. One of my best brews was one heaped teaspoon to the pot, steeped for two and a half minutes, but the next time I did that I found it bland and flavourless.

When I get it right it strikes me as a quite ‘delicate and refined’ tea (it makes me feel a little guilty about my mugs, feeling it really belongs with delicate cups and saucers – and probably with the company of elegant ladies in hats) and I suspect that my tastebuds are not always in the right mood to receive it. Also, I’ve found I can’t pile in the sweeteners as I normally do; it really demands I use less to appreciate it properly.

So, an excellent tea at its best, but I suspect this one is demanding I give it special treatment – keep it well away from mealtimes and sit down with it and give it my full attention – just sit and ‘savour it’, as it were (and buy some cups and saucers!).

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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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