I needed to open this tea and I needed something hot for my throat/chest so I combined those two needs and decided to have this tea this morning. Can I first say wow at the steep time? I was surprised that it’s just 1 – 2 minutes. But then these are tiny little bits of tea, so I suppose that isn’t too surprising. It brews up dark, even in that short amount of time, and smells cardboard-y with a splash of almost-creamy vanilla.
Sipping, it’s a little flat. I’m not going to say that is all the tea because I am getting my first introduction to it while sick with a horrible cold. But not a lot of nuance going on in this tea. It is nicely stout, pretty malty. I have a feeling this would stand up well to milk. Even though it is not as flat-tasting as my first sip made me think, it still doesn’t have any subtlety within the flavor. It’s Assam and it makes no bones about it. The vanilla does help, I think. It doesn’t actually flavor the tea but rather adds a little insulating bubble of faint sweetness that smooths out what might be a little too malty and rough. Not that it makes the tea smooth, but it prevents it from being as rough as it might be. It’s malty and cardboard-y and it’s got a decently chewy body to it along with a little bit of an edge. And I’m only half way through my 12-oz cup and I can already feel the caffeine going so this definitely qualifies as a wake up tea.
All in all, it lacks a little roundness in taste to make me a huge fan of this tea, but I enjoy the stoutness and sort of vanilla-moderated-in-your-face-ness of it. But then most mornings, subtle teas do me very little good so that plus the caffeine means that this at least fulfills its purpose as a good wake-up tea. Plus, the heat has made my chest feel better. Brownie points for that.