Another of the Georgian teas I acquired from What-Cha during the second half of 2016, I finished off the last of my sample pouch this afternoon. I got so used to the recommended steeping process for Natela’s Gold Standard that I ended up using 203 F water instead of 194 F water the first time I brewed a cup of this tea. It turns out that nine degree difference in temperature really makes a difference with this tea. Brewing it again at the recommended temperature resulted in a much more flavorful cup.

I brewed this tea Western style. Rather than attempt multiple infusions, I favored a simple one step infusion process. Note that in this review I am specifically referring to the latter brewing method referred to above-3 grams of loose tea leaves steeped in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted a malty, slightly fruity scent. After infusion, I picked up pronounced aromas of cream, malt, raisin, almond, and nutmeg. In the mouth, I detected dominant notes of cream, malt, and toast balanced by gentle, subtle notes of apricot, golden raisin, and yellow plum. Notes of nutmeg and almond were also detectable, becoming more noticeable on the smooth, malty, and subtly fruity finish.

Overall, I really liked this tea. It came across as being smoother and more balanced than Natela’s Gold Standard, though it also lacked the pronounced fruitiness I so admired in that tea. Still, I found it to be very good. I think it would be a perfect tea for whenever one is just looking for a balanced, supremely drinkable cup.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Cream, Malt, Nutmeg, Plum, Raisins, Toast

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Oh this sounds good!

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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