This is my first review here on Steepster, and really my first experience with really high quality tea. I love black tea and grew up drinking strong English teas. Well, I was completely caught off guard with this tea. The first thing that came to mind when I smelled the dry leaves was standing over a pot as a pastry chef caramelizing sugar. That sweet smell as the sugar starts to melt and take on that lovely golden color. And then the chocolate notes hit, and never left. I will never dismiss the aroma of chocolate! It is welcome anytime.
I was a little confused about the brewing time, but that is the tea newbie in me. I dusted off my forgotten yixing pot and did what it said on the package, 3 grams of tea, 6 oz. of water, steep for 2-3 seconds. The tea was so pale I was confused because as I mentioned before, I am used to strong English black teas. I went on the website to try again and followed the brewing instructions for the “Western brew” which says to brew for 3 minutes. At about the 2 minute mark, I decide to watch the video and it seems the longest brew time mentioned for various brewing vessels was 10 seconds. I panicked because I was already past 2 minutes at this point. At any rate, I went with the 3 minute western style brewing time they have listed. It was a lovely golden color at that point. Not nearly as dark as any black tea I have had before. And the taste…oh the taste, it was just incredible. It is the most complex tea I have ever had. I kept getting a subtle smokiness and the chocolate was present the whole time. It was so smooth and just wonderful.
I ordered 4 different types of black teas from verdant and I can’t wait to try them all. If anyone has any suggestions with the brewing time, I would love to hear them. I am new at this and learning as I go along.