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Recent Tasting Notes
I told myself I wouldn’t buy any more teas when I moved abroad, and yet here I am, tea shopping as always… Normally I’m not a fan of Ceylons but I tried a Nuwara Eliya teabag once (!) which was absolutely marvellous, so when I saw it loose-leaf in Simon Lévelt, I snapped it up immediately.
What can I say? I think I’m brewing it a little too strong! Yesterday I made it with possibly too big a spoonful, because it really was very dry in the mouth, but when I added milk the flavour seemed to disappear completely… Maybe it’s a very precarious tea.
It’s a beautiful deep, woody amber colour, and the aroma is rich, fragrant… slightly savoury, but in a liqueur kind of sense rather than a savoury cooked food sense! It keeps this savoury flavour in every sip, as well, which isn’t bad, but it really is very dry and astringent. Once you get past the initial strength of this rather robust flavour, there are the usual floral, slightly roast-vegetable notes, maybe a hint of citrus at the end – but it’s lacking that usual zest-and-malt combo that makes Ceylon that little bit unpleasant for me.
I feel a little like I’m drinking a dark beer rather than a Ceylon tea… Not a bad thing!
I haven’t commented on this tea before, as I found it hard to discribe. When I received my order of Dragon Well yesterday and brewed a cup, I realized that the Blackwood Geen has a character that – in certain ways – is very similar to the Dragon Well. So I figured I could write a taste note on this one after all, by comparing it to the Dragon Well.
These teas are similar in the smooth, vegetal and nutty characteristics. The Blackwood Green however has a more grassy freshness to it than the Dragon Well, which is smoother and mellower. The Blackwood Green has a somewhat pungent/sharp quality. At some point I even thought to detect a slight – although not unpleasant – bitterness. Overall the flavour is much ‘bolder’ than the Dragon Well, the latter being decidedly more delicate.
The aftertaste is also more brisk than the Dragon Well. At times I seem to catch a hint of something floral and nearly soapy. But perhaps that’s me? I tend to find fresh floral scents and tastes to be(come) soapy quite quick.
I brewed this at 85 C and for 5 minutes. The Dragon Well was brewed at 82 C for approx. 2 min 30 sec. Both according to the instructions of the respective vendors.
Perfect afternoon tea to enjoy with cakes of any kind. It’s is nice and balanced, not overly flavoured or sweet. Earlier I tasted the Harney & Sons Darjeeling blend, and this one is almost as light and flowery.
Beware of the steeping time, though: this tea is lighter of colour than ‘normal’ darjeeling, as the percentage of flowers is relatively high. If the tea has turned dark, you have probably let the tea steep for too long. If you do this, the tea might become bitter.
In the upcoming weeks I will try out other darjeeling blends from Simon Levelt.
The best tasting tea I have ever had…. And I’ve had a lot of tea!!!!! Almost every brand and flavour…. But truely no other tea has come close…… I have been looking for this tea in England and the UK… Wow an amazing brew real fantastic and a great pleasure to drink so well done Simon levelt from a new fan of your teas….. Keep up the wonderful work of flavours…..