I’ve found this one of those most difficult of teas to describe. On first sup, it doesn’t seem anything special and I’d describe it as having very little flavour, but then it sort of sneaks up on me and I realise that I’m quite enjoying it and finding it quite satisfying. The best summation I can think of is as a ‘very subtle’ tea, though I know that doesn’t mean much.

I can’t really detect anything in the way of aroma – nothing I can describe, anyway. In the mouth, there is a quite mild flavour somewhere in the middle between chocolate, roast beef and basic tea – I don’t mean three elements but one, somewhere between them all. There is also a subtle, difficult-to-define, ‘tingle’ to it: it’s not really that hint of ginger or white pepper I get from some teas – I want to say ‘metallic’ but it’s not at all unpleasant, as ‘metallic’ implies, rather something like the smell of nettles, but cleaner – perhaps leaning very, very slightly towards spearmint. There’s a very faint fruitiness to it, too faint to define more exactly but making the tea a fraction sweeter than the norm. There’s the faintest hint of liquorice. Oddly these flavours seem to get more noticeable as the level in the cup falls – perhaps because the tea is cooling?

The instructions are for 2.5gms to the cup, which is a bit more than normal, so I used two heaped teaspoons; for one to two minutes’ steeping, so I gave it two; and for only 70°, so I let the water go off the boil for several minutes and then for several minutes more (so two severals of minutes off the boil – really must sort out a thermometer).

I actually got a fourth infusion out of the tea with no noticeable difference in flavour and the tea still floating at the surface and I’m sure I could have gone on.

Quite an intriguing tea.

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 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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