33 Tasting Notes
Beware this tea! Strongly sour, bitter, herbaceous, and unpleasant. I get this result no matter whether I steep the tea for one minute or three, no matter whether I use boiling water and a hot teapot or water well below boiling. It is very hard to find a really good decaffeinated tea, but almost all are better than this.
Background: The non-decaffeinated version of “PG Tips” is sold bagged and loose in grocery stores across the U.K. It is known for its dark brew and strong flavor.
It can be found in many supermarkets in the United States, often in the “Ethnic Foods” aisle.
It is very hard to find good decaffeinated tea, and I have never tried a decaffeinated tea as good as typical non-decaffeinated black tea.
Still interested in decaf tea? Look for teas decaffeinated using the CO-2 process, rather than the Ethyl Acetate process. Then brew the tea for a shorter time than you would a regular tea — two minutes and thirty seconds should be your upper limit.
This traditional Lapsang Souchong is made from an Oolong tea — what must be a very good Oolong tea, because its flavor is still distinct and complex despite shining through a veil of smoke. The smokiness is intense, but not quite overwhelming. Think of a campfire made from pine branches. For those who like a real Lapsang Sounchong with a strongly smoky flavor, this tea is very good. But some will prefer a Lapsang Souchong that is not this smoky.
Excellent Darjeeling tea with a light color, very little bitterness, and a powerful and complex flavor. A floral, wine-like tea. Some of the leaves are still greenish; as is true for many Darjeelings, perhaps this tea was not cured for as long as other black teas.
This tea is best served without milk. To do it justice, you should warm the cup or teapot by filling it with boiling water and emptying it — before adding fresh boiling water to make the tea.
I have not been able to find this tea in the United States, although I have found other Twinings offerings such as “Twinings Darjeeling” and “Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe,” which are packaged in the same type of tin. I found this “Twinings Vintage Darjeeling” in a grocery store when I was visiting Austria.