Well crap the store is busy! I guess a whole bunch of people waited until last minute for their Christmas shopping to get done. It’s going to be fun squeaking in time to log my work teas today (but at leas the shift will go by quickly)!
Anyway, I actually had this in the morning before I left for work, while I was getting ready. I wanted to get in as many sipdowns as possible today because I’m sitting at 136 (before counting what I’ll get from the 12 Days exchange, a few swaps I’m expecting, two Black Friday orders I’m still waiting on, and a couple other orders to boot) – most of which is in large quantity, and that’s a scary number. I also have half a jug of milk to use up which’ll be going bad any day now, so those were both things I took into consideration in picking my morning tea.
It’s not often I reach for an unflavoured tea over a flavoured one – but this was one of few things I had in a quantity that I could sipdown. I recieved this as a one cup sample from Stacy which she threw into my last Butiki order, generously on top of the two other samples I had requested. I actually really like most straight blacks – I just happen to like flavoured blacks a little more.
Dry, the leaf smells nice and bold with some oak notes. There was a subtle sweetness to the leaf as well. For preparation, I used the prepackaged amount in 8 oz. of boiling water, steeped for about 3 min. and 45 seconds. The steeped smell was very bold, rich and malty, with a mild sweetness to it and just a touch of astringency on the tail. I ended up drinking the first third of my cup straight (no additives) and it was super good and definitely provided a nice wake up slap.
The last two thirds had a splash of milk added in, but no sugar (I hate adding sugar to tea). With the milk added, it was still very smooth and malty with creamier sort of chocolate notes (very subtle, though) and a richness of a different sort and no astringency. This too was very lovely to drink first thing in the morning. I think I preferred it this way, but only slightly.
I’m very disappointed now this didn’t make it into my Black Friday order and Stacy is all out of this (version of the) blend now, for a while. This is a straight black I could definitely see myself drinking often as a morning tea (not so much any other time of the day, though). Oh well.
9/10 – would totally drink again if given the chance. A very sad sipdown, indeed. I’ll keep my eyes out for the opportunity to acquire angina in swaps and such, and I’m sure I’ll eventually try the new version. Also, I do have some Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black to try, too…