I’ve found this one of those most difficult of teas to describe. On first sup, it doesn’t seem anything special and I’d describe it as having very little flavour, but then it sort of sneaks up on me and I realise that I’m quite enjoying it and finding it quite satisfying. The best summation I can think of is as a ‘very subtle’ tea, though I know that doesn’t mean much.
I can’t really detect anything in the way of aroma – nothing I can describe, anyway. In the mouth, there is a quite mild flavour somewhere in the middle between chocolate, roast beef and basic tea – I don’t mean three elements but one, somewhere between them all. There is also a subtle, difficult-to-define, ‘tingle’ to it: it’s not really that hint of ginger or white pepper I get from some teas – I want to say ‘metallic’ but it’s not at all unpleasant, as ‘metallic’ implies, rather something like the smell of nettles, but cleaner – perhaps leaning very, very slightly towards spearmint. There’s a very faint fruitiness to it, too faint to define more exactly but making the tea a fraction sweeter than the norm. There’s the faintest hint of liquorice. Oddly these flavours seem to get more noticeable as the level in the cup falls – perhaps because the tea is cooling?
The instructions are for 2.5gms to the cup, which is a bit more than normal, so I used two heaped teaspoons; for one to two minutes’ steeping, so I gave it two; and for only 70°, so I let the water go off the boil for several minutes and then for several minutes more (so two severals of minutes off the boil – really must sort out a thermometer).
I actually got a fourth infusion out of the tea with no noticeable difference in flavour and the tea still floating at the surface and I’m sure I could have gone on.
Quite an intriguing tea.