I’ve got this huge project due tomorrow night, so I’ve spent the entire weekend chained to the desk and drinking tea. I wanted to start off this morning with something high quality, but I also felt like checking a tea off my cabinet, so I chose one of the free samples from Soleil.
The first thing I noticed about this tea is the smell. It’s an aroma that I’ve only noticed on a sheng before, which is squash and a sort of burnt brown sugar. Sometimes I can smell a bit of almond in there like the website suggests, but it’s very faint. I think butternut squash is predominant for me.
For flavor, there is the slightest, SLIGHTEST hint of bitterness, but it’s a smooth bitterness. I honestly didn’t know there was a difference between good bitterness and bad before this morning. There’s a tangy astringency that lingers on the back of the palate that reminds me of cranberries, but I wouldn’t say that the tea tastes like cranberries. The chocolate notes seem to build the more sips I take.
There’s something buttery about the mouthfeel.
I like this tea. I think it would be interesting to defile it with a bit of sugar and milk. But I don’t think I would order it to keep around.
Edit 1: Second steep added a bit of raw Ohio Fall Harvest, and suddenly I’m drinking a slice of whole wheat toast with a bit of honey butter.
Edit 2: Third steep with 1 demerara cube and the tiniest touch of half and half, and it’s a delicate honey breakfast tea. I have to say that I am loving the diversity. I’ll probably take it back to black after this to see what has happened in the last couple of steeps.
Edit 3: Fourth steep black, and there isn’t much left. It’s sugary sweet though, with honey notes, a tiny bit of chocolate, and maybe some cinnamon. But the leaf is almost spent.
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Butternut Squash, Chocolate, Cranberry, Dark Bittersweet, Tangy