So, did you know if you accidentally hit the escape button while typing a review, it all goes away? Apparently so!
Let’s see if I can remember what I wrote and pick up from there….
Upon first impression, the dry leaves smelled like Assam but then as I continued to sniff, they remind me more of a Darjeeling – there is a bit of sharpness that makes me think of the muscatel taste in Darjeelings.
As I’m waiting for the water to boil (oh how I miss my Zojirushi – would it be overkill to bring that on my next road trip?) I Google a bit to see if I can find anything about this estate or tea. Other than the fact that Lupicia sells tea from this estate and that this estate’s tea seems to be in some Kenyan tea blends, I’m not really finding much. If anyone has any good links to share about the variety of tea plant they grow in Kenya and what they do to the leaves, I’d appreciate it! (Or where to buy more of them!)
Brewed up, the tea is a somewhat murky brown. Smells like a stout Yunnan, though. Mmm, tastes like a stout Yunnan, too. It’s very Yunnan like but makes me think of Yunnan Gold with a hint of Irish breakfast. It’s not from brewing it too heavy, though. Now that I have my teacups, I know I’m doing 2.3g/6oz. So this is just a stout tea.
I’m starting to get a bit of that sharpness I smelled that reminded me of a Darjeeling. As it cools, the front taste becomes Darjeeling-esque and the tail has the warm fuzzy tones of a Yunnan almost with a little cocoa taste after the swallow. Very faint though so it is more of a dry cocoa feel. If that makes sense. For all its stoutness it is a smooth tea with zero bitterness. I imagine it would hold up well to milk and sugar if that’s how you roll, but it has enough of the Yunnan-ish taste for me to find that unnecessary.
And now my cup is empty and I am sad. This is a good tea. I imagine that anyone that finds Yunnans somewhat boring or too smooth/mild tasting would enjoy this one. Or someone that finds Darjeelings too sharp, though this is definitely thicker than a Darjeeling. Or maybe this is the tea for the Irish Breakfast set that finds Chinese teas too weak/thin. Or maybe it is a tea for someone that likes all of those and wants to squish them all together into one nummy tea.
One last comment – I can feel the caffeine hitting my blood stream. This definitely fits on the Irish Breakfast side of the caffeine equation as I’ve never felt that Yunnans were particularly caffeinated. WHEE!!!
ETA: 2nd steep at 5 mins. It’s not an overly impressive second steep which is somewhat sad. Still had a Yunnan-esque flavor to it and still stout, but I couldn’t pick up any of the Darjeeling tartness/sharpness anymore which turned the tea into just sort of normal. Maybe like a second steep of an Irish Breakfast made with Chinese blacks.