This one’s a pretty and slightly unusual color in the cup, a dark copper tone with more red with its brown than most unflavored black teas. Dry and brewing it smells like a much lighter/fainter sister to darjeeling or blacks from Nepal. It does have that astringency and mellow but ever present tannin one associates with those teas, done lightly. There’s also an element of warmth, warm spices somehow that darjeelings often lack, and it’s rather pleasant combined with the more typical darjeeling-ish light and floral qualities. It’s also somewhat sweet as these types of teas go, a kind of honeyed sweetness that is not unwelcome at all. I like! It seems I enjoy when darjeeling qualities are mixed with brawnier, warmer, richer, or smokier elements (exhibit A: my fondness for Upton Imports Baker Street Afternoon Blend).
Bummed I had to use the stovetop kettle for this as when I went to use my Russell Hobbes electric one today there was a rattling noise coming from the sealed base and then a screw flew out of the inside. The thing has a warranty—I contacted them this afternoon—so we’ll see. It was super cheap as these things go anyway—less than $40—but I really did like it, especially because it would keep a BREWED pot of tea warm, not just heated water (that way you don’t have to keep steeping every cup you pour to keep your tea warm long enough). And it was so fast! Going to miss it while I figure out what’s what. This weekend has been a little annoying—other disappointments with long-anticipated orders I won’t get into right now plus some drama in my social circle and stress about my husband’s job security—but oh well. There’s always tea, right?