Lena tea, take two.
I brewed this much shorter this time around, and I think the results suited me much better. The bitterness of the previous attempt was absent this time around, and though I probably should have tried a full cup without adding anything, I had already gotten the sugar and the milk out and yadda yadda yadda…
Anyhow, I got a kind of salty note in the first few sips, which was a little strange, but it went away. Then I started to get a cardboard/wafer-like taste from it. At this point, I poured in a bit of milk and added about a half teaspoon of sugar and gave it a stir. I might try adding a little bit less next time, or perhaps re-upping the steeping time, because the milk was mainly what I was tasting. There was, however, a nice undercurrent of black tea flavor to it that I found enjoyable.
About halfway through the cup, the tea began to hint at caramel flavor, though it never quite got there. I think that if the milk hadn’t been in it this would have been the malt kicking in – the milk made it taste richer and creamier, unsurprisingly.
I’m looking forward to playing around with this tea. I think I’ll try it straight with a 2 minute steep time and at a longer steep time with milk and sugar. Luckily, Lena sent me enough for me to perform extensive experimentation! For now, this tea deserves a solid rating.