I made a brew with all that was left in the tin – probably a well-heaped teaspoon, perhaps a fraction more. I brewed for three minutes with water several minutes off the boil.

It made a very densely-coloured, dark-brown infusion, slightly tinged with yellow.

There’s a faint and very difficult-to-place aroma – possibly a combination of grass and liquorice and basic tea or possibly a combination of grass and beef gravy and basic tea – I really can’t make up my mind.

In the mouth, there’s a hard, firm edge to this; something I think I’ve described in some other tea as what liquorice would be like if you could imagine it without any trace of sweetness. I think I’m getting a hint of cut grass – again as it would be without any hint of sweetness. I may be getting a tiny hint of an undefinable ‘fruitiness’ – or it may be just the comination of the previous two notes. There’s another note that I can’t quite pin down that is somewhere between butter and chocolate, giving a bit of smoothness and body to it.

It occurrs to me that this is probably quite a good tea; but just happens to be one that is not to my taste. Having said that, I still get a strong impression that I’m actually steeping a black tea at too low a temperature.

I made a second infusion (I went a little bit over on the time – about forty of fifty seconds or so – absentmindedness).

I thought this a better cup of tea. The colour was less intense, and so was the hard, firm edge, and I think this gave the tea a better balance – the other elements not seeming to have decreased with it.

I made a third infusion. With this one, it’s possible I brewed it a bit hotter than instructions – 90˚, say – because when I took the first sip it was too hot to take a sizeable one.

I wasn’t getting much in the nose, but this one had better flavours, I think, which, had they only been a bit stronger, would have made it more enjoyable than the first two infusions. I was getting hints of mixed dried fruit and butter; the grass was a little less noticeable. Unfortunately, it was also a little ‘watery’ – if that makes sense (it sounds a bit daft to say that I could taste the water, especially as I use a filter jug, but it was ‘watery’).

Oh well, that’s the last of it and I don’t think it’s interesting enough to buy any more.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I keep reading this one as ‘oolong saliva’ which… is not a pretty mental image.


Ha-ha! … and … Yuk!

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I keep reading this one as ‘oolong saliva’ which… is not a pretty mental image.


Ha-ha! … and … Yuk!

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Happily retired male.

Started exploring ‘proper’ tea in March, 2010 after decades of PG Tips teabags. I was initially looking for ‘the perfect tea’; now I don’t want to find one – I’m so much more enjoying exploring the variety.

A confession: I take my tea with four sweeteners to a half-pint mug.
28/05/2012 – I’ve decided to wean myself off the sweeteners, starting this morning, so, three per mug instead of four (I’m getting a growing feeling that I’m failing to get the best out of some of the oolongs and greens I try and I intend getting a gaiwan and the appropriate little cups, and sweeteners don’t seem to be appropriate, there). 16/02/2013 – since New Year’s Day I’ve only been using two sweeteners. I’m struggling to get used to it, to be honest – some teas are more difficult than others.

How I make tea: either in a traditional teapot which holds enough for three half-pint mugs and has a removable infuser (London Teapot Company); or in a half-pint mug with an Agatha’s Bester filter. Sometimes I vaguely think about getting some nice, genteel cups and saucers …

Important: I measure the tea with plastic kitchen measuring spoons – teaspoon and half-teaspoon sizes – so when I say a ‘heaped teaspoon’, as the correct measure is a levelled one, I should probably be calling it ‘two teaspoons’!


Derbyshire/Staffordshire, UK.

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