Wow… can I say WOW?
This tea rolls out of its black glittering bag already speaking a mouthful. Its pleasantly dark, like a rich fragrance you only dream of finding at the Guerlian counter. I dare to say that this might be a By Kilian fragrance without the lock and key.
It’s plummy, boozy, wonderfully vanillic and a polite black tea. To brew this beauty, they say let it go for 5 minutes and I probably did four on the first steep. In the cup the fragrance was just as divine as what wafted from the sack. The plummy note was a bit more pronounced. On the second steep I let it go and got lazy with its rest. The booziness has faded but the plum is there with a distinct sharpness. Perhaps it isn’t meant to be left alone so long or treated like a left-over?
As for taste… well it’s fine without sugars, milk or cream. It isn’t a fruity flavor in the sense that you recover from the first sip thinking, “Wow blackberry jam.” It’s subtle, elegant, vanilla black tea with the moodiness of a distant plum-berry that at some point snuggled with a soft tobacco or was blessed by fine leather. A fabulous afternoon tea that would make any repast a seduction of the senses.
How it relates to my views on the The de Paques by Mariage Freres: While my The de Paques is assured a prominent place in the teas of my desires (and I crave it often), it is the tea of morning and all things bright. I could dress it up with fruit, delicate cakes and even a ham and brie. Jamaique takes thought and provides mouthwatering contemplation yet not in the way of a zen-Buddha green, think old refined library, deep curtains and soft leather chairs… I swear, I could wear this tea.