Okay, I have re-familiarised myself with the beloved raspberry oolong. I can’t believe how long I’ve gone without it. Now for the second reason for my latest ACP purchase (the third being dangerously low levels of Lapsang Souchong left)
What we’ve got here is a blend of Assam and Travancore, the latter of which is one of those areas that I can never remember exactly where is. Luckily I have literature and atlasses at my disposal, so it was easy enough to figure out. South India for those who suffer from geography deficiency like me.
So far of the Irish Breakfast blends I’ve tried, I have found Adagio’s offering suited me best. Granted I haven’t yet had that many, but this is the way things stand at the moment. I’m a big fan of A C Perch’s as many of you have likely figured out by now, so I have great hopes that their morning tea can, if not beat Adagio’s, then at least be equally as good.
The leaves are quite small and dotted liberally with lovely pretty golden bits, just like my Assam is. Seeing as the leaves are so small though, I will have to play with dosage a bit with this one. My usual dosage in this size pot has turned out to be a wee bit on the strong side for me. The aroma of the dry leaves is absolutely lovely. Assam honey-y sweetness all over the place and something that smells almost, but not quite, smoky. The bag it came in actually had a very smoky aroma hanging at it when I tried sniffing it through the wrapping, which surprised me a bit, because I wouldn’t call this normally a smoky blend. Turns out it was just aroma from the lapsang souchong stuck to the outside of the bag as the leaves inside smell very differently.
After steeping, I have to admit I didn’t consider paying that much attention to the aroma, and it’s gone a bit too cold now to really tell. At this temperature, though, where it’s good for drinking, it smells kind of smooth. Maybe even a bit milky. The actual aroma notes are too weak for me to register at this point. Not because the aroma as such is weak or non-existant, but more because I had an incident at work a few days ago, which involved me, a garbage bag with a hole in it, a bucket with a popped off lid and a few liters of formalin on the floor. To be cleaned up. By me. That’s a few hundred brain cells I’ll never see again. It was quite unpleasant, and I don’t really think my nasal mucus membranes are completely recovered from all the formaldehyde fumes yet. It makes it a bit difficult to really tell what I’m smelling here.
Taste, though. As mentioned, I made it a little too strong for my liking, so next time I’ll have to knock a little off the leaf dosage. The Assam is definitely there, but it feels a little more rounded off here. Relatively astringent, which may be caused by the extra amount of leaf. I tend to be pretty tolerant to astringency, but this cup is right on the border of my limit. I’m trying to look away from that, though.
There is indeed no smokyness in the tea at all. Only the cardboard-y Assam and that other fuller, rounder flavour that is more difficult to pin down. Like the Assam is only providing the frame around this other flavour. Like how a pretty picture is marred by an ugly frame but enhanced by a pretty frame, you know? It’s rather abstract, I’ll admit. Difficult to explain what I mean.
It’s definitely a blend with a good punch, this. It reminds me of Teaplz and the pirate analogy a while ago. I wonder if I can say the tea has that ARRRR-factor. ;) I’m rating it like this for the time being and deeming it indeed a worthy rival of Adagio’s IBB. As I experiment with the leaves, this rating may change.
Isn’t it ironic, by the way, that while I’m sitting here posting about breakfast blends, my actual breakfast is standing on a plate in the kitchen, quite forgotten?
ETA: Very good on the resteep too. A bit smoother and still full of flavour.