Sample package label:
“Our Traditional blend of organic and biodynamic fair trade black tea. This provides a superior organic black tea creating a robust flavor perfect for beginning the day. Brews a smooth malty cup with a clean finish. Ingredients: Organic Black Tea. Steep 3 – 5 minutes.”
I did not read The Tea Merchant’s website marketing description of this tea prior to tasting.
6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 24 ppm, boiled, left to stand so only steaming hot
1 rounded Tevanna teaspoon
This tea has a fresh clean smell that reminds me of something more than just tea. But what is it?
Vibrant reddish hue
3-min: Smooth but light-bodied with a clean finish. I then steeped it an additional 2-min.
5-min: Smooth & medium bodied, with light floral/fruity notes and a clean finish. At this point I can’t identify the floral/fruity notes. There was zero hint of bitterness or astringency.
2nd 5-min Infusion:
Lighter than the first infusion, but still very enjoyable. I debated whether to try a 2nd infusion. However, I’m glad I did.
First Impression: I typically think of English Breakfast Tea as a strong, full-bodied, wake up breakfast tea. While I am now more alert, I find myself craving something more full-bodied. Perhaps this truly enjoyable tea deserves a new name that better describes its character.
First 5-min Infusion:
Prepared as above, but with a heaping Tevanna teaspoon. Now we’re talking – much more robust! This definitely is English Breakfast Tea! Best of all, there is still zero hint of bitterness or astringency. My teacup was empty before I knew it. Well done!! Time for a …
2nd 5-min Infusion:
As you would expect, the heaping teaspoon also improved this infusion – definitely more full-bodied, but of course not as much as the first infusion of the 2nd cup.
Final thoughts: Thanks to The Tea Merchant for providing this generous size free sample. It’s a good thing that Joey Landford provided enough tea for more than one cup! I would urge The Tea Merchant to specify a heaping teaspoon on their packaging since they describe this tea as providing a “robust flavor perfect for beginning the day”. Such information may prevent tea drinkers from forming a less than favorable first impression of this excellent tea.