I didn’t really know what to expect from this tea. It didn’t seem a very compelling tea, as I had always seen it sitting on the shelf as I walked past it in the store. I finally broke down and bought a bag, as I had tried all the other teas.
Upon first opening the bag, a gentle and extremely pleasing aroma fills the air. A very fresh and sweet scent of vanilla and fruit blend quite well with the tea, giving a more after hours cocktail feel. The leaves are long, rolled, and handsomely dark.
My initial steep of 3 minutes, with half a teaspoon of rock sugar, gave a brilliant and bright copper toned brew. The aroma very much like the leaves, fresh, sweet and slightly fruity.
The first couple sips gave me a surprisingly bitter flavor, followed by a sweet subtle fruitiness, which was then followed by a hint of astringency. As surprising as it was, considering how much black tea there is here, it shouldn’t be that surprising.
My second steep of 2 minutes and 45 seconds with new leaves, and this time with a whole teaspoon of rock sugar, gave a darker brew with a stronger sweet and fruity aroma.
The 15 seconds makes such a difference, giving a more flavorful brew. There is much less bitterness and a more subtle floral bouquet. There is something very distinguishing about the toasty sweet and dry textures, with a slight astringency that more compliments the overall flavor.
This tea is wonderfully complex, with so many textures, all working together for your complete enjoyment. I believe I have had this tea five times in the past two days now, which officially makes it a favorite.