At the suggestion of many, I dialed the temperature WAY down. Like to the top of the first white zone, which I’m thinking is somewhere around 160 degrees. [1. I really need to get a thermometer. 2. If you’re just tuning in and have no clue what I am referring to, I use a utiliTEA.] I put in more tea – like 1.5, maybe even 2 tsp – and I let it sit for 2:15-2:30 minutes.
MUCH improved. Of course, this is a completely different company, so I’m not sure how much that played into it [I’ll have to try Adagio’s again], but this was much more aligned to what I was expecting.
There is a distinct smokiness to the scent as it rises off the cup, which I don’t enjoy but don’t hate either. It’s almost gunpowder-y? Kind of like that smell you get from a log-burning fire, but with more of a peppery tone to it.
There is still some of that saltiness to it, but it’s not too pronounced. This is definitely a tea with some subtleness to it, but this cup had that chlorophyll-sweet taste to it that I enjoy. The sweetness becomes more obvious as it cools, and the aftertaste towards the end is somewhere between roasty and smoky.
It’s an interesting tea, and I want to continue playing around with it a bit, but I think that I’d enjoy it more if I were eating something with it. Something with complex flavors and a medium kind of intensity to it. Balducci’s makes this smoked ham, pear, and gorgonzola sandwich that would likely pair masterfully with this. I think I know what I’m doing tomorrow.