I was really surprised to see so many gold leaves in this tea. Sure, they look a little dry but it’s still neatly unusual. I didn’t smell the leaves really but I sure can smell the tea – even from across the kitchen! It smells pretty fruity, actually, with a chaser of malty cardboard. I’m trying it straight first off to see how that goes, but I do appreciate a good stout blend that can handle sugar and milk.
This is very smooth. And pretty much like it smells. A deep, fruity taste (makes me think of dark berries – particularly cherries) followed by a solid bread-y, bake-y taste (also dark – more like wheat or rye bread than white). For the second half of my cup, I added a little milk and sugar. Some of the nuances are smoothed over – the bread-y is just bread-y now, not a dark bread-y – but it stands up to the addition nicely. Very smooth, no rough edges but a solid core of upright, stout tea-ness with faint fruity on the front and fresh-baked bread-y on the end.
It’s not quite a drag-me-into-the-morning-kicking-and-screaming type tea (Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is a bit more aggressive in that manner) but the nuances and depth of flavor make it a really classy cup, especially for an Irish Breakfast.