The dry leaves smell like you’d expect from a Ceylon black – smooth, with molasses as the primary scent. There is a hint of (real) black licorice, like the Panda kind. The actual brewed tea is pretty much in line with the leaf smell, and there is a very slight bready flavor in there as well. One the whole, the flavor is somewhat weak, so I’ll try steeping this for longer than 3 minutes next time and see how it works. Still, a pretty good tea.
I used a bit more leaves than I usually do for black teas this time, and gave it 4 minutes, but it’s still not producing much flavor. Even with a normal amount of milk, it is overmollifying the tea. I may have to try this tea without milk. Still, it’s not bad, and there is some subtlety to it – slight notes of licorice and honey.
Having not liked this tea as much as the Ceciliyan Estate and Golden Kenya I bought with it from Upton, I put it aside while I drank those two. Now that they’re almost gone, I’ve come back to Tea Bank, and I’m getting some different flavors from it.
This tea now reminds me an awful lot of a Chinese black tea. It’s hard to characterize exactly what this means, but if you’ve had any Chinese black teas, you’ll know how different from Assams and Ceylons they tend to be. Tea Bank seems to be halfway between Ceylon and China. It also has a smokiness that I never noticed before. It has a more interesting flavor than I was getting from this tea when I first bought it, but it still isn’t as rounded and yummy as my mainstay black teas.