The instructions are for a heaped teaspoon for one and a half to two minutes and water at 80°; so I made it with a heaped teaspoon and brewed for one and three-quarter minutes with water that had gone off the boil for a few minutes.

There’s a faint aroma of rust. In the mouth it’s quite mild: there are the merest hints of liquorice, greenery – reminds me of the smell you get round shrubbery and undergrowth after a sharp shower in hot, dry weather – and there’s a very tiny ‘bite’ – it’s difficult to place, not black or white pepper or ginger, not in anyway harsh or unpleasant – it’s perhaps nearer to the bite of lemon juice than any of those but it’s not quite that either. In spite of its mild flavour this tea has a quite ‘satisfying’ quality to it.

I made a second mug with the same tea: I lost track of it and left it about two and a half minutes, but it didn’t taste any different. The tea was still floating, too, so probably good for more infusions, but I didn’t want another cup.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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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’!


Derbyshire/Staffordshire, UK.

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