A sample from the lovely Angrboda! I’ve been bad about logging my tea lately. Mostly because I ran into a bit of time that everything tasted flat and I couldn’t pick up anything other than “tastes like tea”. But that’s all fixed now so hopefully I can dig into the remaining samples and new-to-me teas that I have.
This one… Wow. First off, I wasn’t really expecting anything super awesome because the smell of this one initially struck me as twiggy. I’m not a huge wood-in-my-tea fan. But there was also some raw cacao to the smell so I was hopeful.
Upon sipping, though, I was kind of knocked back. The smell is mild and pretty but the taste? It’s bold and kind of smacks you in the face. The tartness was what I first noticed. It’s that semi-sour note that I’ve found in a number of Keemuns – kind of a mix of an underripe black plum (or maybe lemon juice without the citrus aspect) and a tiny hint of tar. Not lapsang-levels of tar, mind you. Perhaps it is a raw cacao taste, but this seems too silky and heavy on my tongue for me to think of raw cacao (but it’s too dark to be even an 80% dark chocolate). That thickness & richness makes me think more tar-like thoughts, even if there’s no real smoke or char note in this.
There’s a lot of bittersweet going on in this, too. The sweetness in this is somewhere between blackstrap molasses and burnt caramel and there is a delightful grain note that seems very much liked the caramelized barley the husband uses in beer making. All dark, rich, heavy notes that hint at sweetness but never really get there.
Even the feel of this tea is dark and heavy – like rolling around in a chocolate bar commercial. You know the ones where they use satin sheets rippling and flowing to show you the silky sexiness of the caramel in the candy bar? It’s like that. Heavy, rich, decadent, sophisticated and quite sexy.
This is one sexy cup of tea. It’s so dark and rich with the not-quite-sweet-but-not-quite-bittersweet-either that it’s pretty close to overwhelming. It’s a tea that is worth a post-cup nap. Or a cigarette.