Thank you to Teavivre for their generous samples (that were sent to my wife – privileges of matrimony = delicious tea)! See her review of the Blueberry Fruit Tea for the heart attack she gave me when we opened the package of what seems like all the tea in China.
Dry: Long twisted leaves, much lighter in colour than I expected, with a golden dust. Very pollen-y scent, made me want to go back for another sniff. Then another. Then another. Until my wife asked me why I was smelling the tea like a creeper. So I finally made a cup.
First steep: 100C, about 2 minutes. Quite dark, considering the short steep and the light colour of the leaves. Not bitter at all, with no unpleasant aftertaste. Not much of an aftertaste at all, just a sort of vague sweet heady satisfied mouth. Reminds me of wine and coffee without tasting like either (thank goodness), but that same kind of dark richness, but really smooth. This tea would be great in the morning or as a lunchtime pick-me-up, one of the best straight blacks I’ve ever enjoyed. Just the kind of solid tea I was craving after a shift that seemed way longer than it should have. I would love to try blending it, because of that natural sweet, rich body, but I also don’t want to waste this sample!
Second steep: 90C, about 2 minutes 30. Brewed up with a lighter golden colour than the first steep, and I reread the package directions and realised that I steeped the first cup waaaay too hot. Luckily I don’t think I burnt it the first time around? Anyway, this cup was a much more mellow drink than the first, a nice all-around flavour. The sweetness continued unabated, but the tea was a much lighter taste than the first steep.
Think I might go for a third steep before bed, if I can dig myself off this couch.