My GM sampler came in the mail. I confess to having mixed feelings about this event. I’m excited, but I’m also simultaneously overwhelmed, intimidated, and concerned for my health. Overwhelmed because there are SO MANY TEAS to choose from, intimidated because the sample size is enough to permit me one infusion at full strength and if I screw it up I’m in big trouble, and concerned for my health because I am not sure I have the personal reserves of strength not to brew cup after cup after cup of tea, and I may very well wind up consuming so much caffeine so quickly that the top of my skull actually comes flying off, which is the sort of thing that really puts a damper on a girl’s day.
I don’t doubt I’m going to be rating a bunch of teas in the immediate future, so I’m going to try to be more concise than usual (ha, ha, ha). This one is sweet. Before I took a sip, before I even sniffed my cup of brewed tea, I took a sniff of the wet leaves and knew I was going to like this. They were sweet and honeyed and still maintained that hay-like quality I love in black tea, though the hay clippings in this cup would be fresh, not quite cured. The scent is there — in the leaves — but there isn’t much of it in the flavor. I find it every now and then, a little background note of uncommonly bright malt, and I suppose this is the reason that I expected this tea to be an assam rather than ceylon (though to be perfectly fair, I haven’t spent a lot of time sipping on different kinds of ceylon tea intentionally, so what do I know? I’ve always thought of it as being the ubiquitous, universal, and understandably unexciting baseline flavor of black tea). After I take a sip and let myself sit a moment, I get a sudden flash of unexpected sweetness. I’m getting it more now that the cup isn’t blazing hot, but I anticipate that I might lose it again once the cup stopped being hot at all.
Curious about this second steep. I’ll update in a bit.
Edit: The second steep just earned this tea a big bump in rating. The first one is good, don’t get me wrong; brisk and tasty. It’s not so strong that it needs milk, but it probably would manage well enough with a drop or two (too much would probably be overkill). The second one, though, has a liquid-sugar quality that I can see myself finding incredibly addictive. De-lish.