6 Tasting Notes
I’m trying this tea whilst sitting beside the Serpentine within Hyde Park. As I sit I’m watching the swans preen themselves, people riding horses on the far bank and listening to the Queens Guard bellow orders in the distance.
It’s a brisk morning and my partner and I needed a warm cup of tea to warm our bones. Earl Grey (my favorite) should do the trick.
The first time I tried this tea I found that although a balanced tea it is, it lacks the ompf I’ve come to expect from my Earl Greys. After brewing longer it’s starting to come out but it’s not quite there. In saying that I do enjoy it as it’s a ‘pure’ example of Earl Grey. It’s unadultered by citrus, rose and anything else they care to add.
It also is nice for an organic as most I find are selling karma not tea but that’s an aside.
Despite the fact I’m sure my enjoyment of the tea is biased by the cold and locale I’d still rate it highly. In short a good traditional tea in a country built on both tradition and tea.
It’s the beggining of a busy week for me and I’m already feeling I’m not going to get it all acomplished. So what am I going to do…. Procrastinate…. Maybe…. Later probably….
I must say that Kappy’s was for a very long time a second home for me. The former owners I saw more than my own family and I now count as friends. As such under new ownership my patronage had waned but I’m back for the first time in what must be close to six months.
I walk in the door and find the tea, lapsang souchong, and place my order. Without a word my old cup is brought to me (a present from the_devotea look him up) that I’ve left here for what must be years now. Not long after a huge 1L pot is brought to the table, i must say my first thought was that it would be too much water but it was perfect. The pot steeped for 4 minutes or so before I poured. As I do the comforting smokiness wafts from the cup.
The liqour dark red has a spicy and smokey aroma. It’s a well balenced tea as the bitter tannins work with the smoke to develop on the palate. This tea is everything I look for in a lapsang souchong. However.
The tea has been allowed to sit too long in the shop and slot of the bite has gone. Still nice but it’s not as good as it can be. Maybe a fresh tea might score higher. Still worth the price at $4.
Well I must be a glutton for punishment.
I braced myself again for this tea expecting more of the same. To avoid this I did two things asked them to give me the tea bag so the water could cool more and allowed the tea to steep more.
What did this acheive? Well not much. Aside from the paper cup, the tea can’t help that, and the overly malted base there’s very little to the tea. It tastes smokey and burnt and the burgomot is this time nigh on overpowering the rest of tea. To me it’s in one word, “unbalenced”. Too much citrus and malt, and too little fruit and spice that dots the palate as you drink. And yet as it cools it’s evolving, rounding like a wine with age, dare I say balanced.
Maybe the tea is tempramental and requires some coaxing to pull it out. Maybe, but it’s got one more chance.
As this tea features prominently in all to many English teas it is often not done well. This particular tea is nothing of the sort. It’s beautiful colour sits lightly in the porcelain cup reflecting the perfect hazlenut shades within. Although my first impressions were taken from a still understeeped cup the rest sits awaiting me in its the pot.
The first thing I noticed of this tea is that it is strangely smooth and silky, as if I’ve added milk, the tannins are soft and a little drying of the palate. All sensations are balenced and delicate but enjoyable to say the least.
This fills out to include citrus and sweet fruits in the second cup and as it cools it’s reminding me so very much of orange bitters as the fruit and bitter taste play off of one another. A citrus aroma fills the room and the headache I’ve had all day melts away.
A good choice and an even better tea.
I arrived an hour early to university today as unknowingly I did not have a class. So turning misfortune into opportunity I decoded to have my first cup of the day. I walked into a new coffee and tea shop that has just opened to see what they offer, teas by T2 it seems. Bother.
None the less I place my order for Earl Grey and despite the fact it is dispensed on a paper cup I take a seat in their comfy seats. Now the tea. After what could only have been 60 seconds the tea is already jet black and although risking biting mh mouth I taste it and no flavourhas yet been imbued in the liqour. I smell burgamot but that’s it. A little citrus here and there but other than an overly malty back note reminicent of every cheap tea I might as well have ordered the dish water.
Well atleast there’s hope for the day.
I’ve not had not had a great week before walking into my local T-bar and had decided to choose something to invigorate the body and the soul. I thought long and hard before deciding on trying a tea introduced to me by an old friend only a year or so before. Robert promised the heaven and the stars in this tea and I think he may not be wrong. The first steel of this tea provides a beautiful golden honey liqour in the cup which can only be described as heavenly. Like a good aged wine the tannins, although delicate, provides a smooth mouth and mossy nose.
But wait there’s more!
This tea continues to evolve with each consecutive steep, in this case 3-4 maximum. This is a great tea to enjoy time after time as every cup is different to the last.
Alas this is not the best example of Pai Mu Tan it is still worth searching out.