Thanks to Laurent at Nina’s Paris for this sample!
I didn’t see any recommended brewing parameters for this tea either, so went with my standard boiling/3 minute infusion… or at least, I planned to, until I sniffed the tea while it was a minute in, and I was already smelling… astringency. Yes, I realize that astringency is a sensation, but I imagine you guys can figure out what I mean… it’s kind of a sharp, pungent aroma that gets my tastebuds going like astringency does (not in a good way). So I took the infuser basket out at 2 minutes instead, because I only have one chance at this tea, and you can always put the basket back in, but you can’t reverse an oversteeped tea!
The aroma is quite nondescript, and smells like a plain black to me. Perhaps a plain flavoured black, as it’s that sort of base that I associate with… cheap flavoured blacks? :/ Although I see that it’s Keemun and not Ceylon, as I probably would have guessed (not that I really would know, though).
Flavourwise, unfortunately, this one isn’t doing it for me. I can tell that it’s a flavoured black (it has a vague plasticky flavour to it), and that’s about it. I’m not even sure that I would be able to say that it’s fruity… the flavouring is quite vague. Luckily there doesn’t actually seem to be quite the astringency that I was worried about (though there is some, and I am drinking this tea cool, which sometimes I find reduces the sensation of astringency).
I’m pretty picky about flavoured blacks, and this one unfortunately wouldn’t be a tea I’d drink again. Perhaps it has lost some flavour during transit or something (I don’t think that my short infusion affected the flavour; usually that only affects strength of flavour), but I can’t say I’m a big fan of this one.