There was a mix-up at Nothing But Tea’s suppliers and this note was on a brew made from this tea mislabelled as Vietnamese Imperial Oolong, so I’ve cut and pasted the note to where it belongs – with a little editing.

I made a brew with all that was left – emptied the caddy into the filter. It might have been a well heaped teaspoon but certainly not more. I steeped for three minutes with water several minutes off the boil.

In the mug it’s a medium-intensity, clear yellow-brown.

In the nose there are touches of chocolate, freshly-turned soil and gravy. There’s also a tiny hint of the smell you get in chicken sheds, or walking in woodland or thickets where thousands of birds roost at night.

In the mouth I’m getting notes of chocolate, freshly-turned soil and gravy. There are a firm cut grass and a sweet fruitiness contrasting each other. There’s just an underlying hint of a butter or toffee smoothness – difficult to say which. There’s the tiniest hint of that bird thing. It’s actually so complex that it’s difficult to get a grip on it all, but it’s quite distinctive – and excellent!

I made a second infusion, same way.

The colour is much the same.

I get a fraction more of the chicken or bird thing in the nose. I’m also now getting hints of the grass and fruit.

In the mouth it is very similar to the previous infusion. Again, I think the bird element is a fraction more noticeable, also the fruitiness and grass. The overall feel is just a tad thinner. It’s still excellent, though.

I’ll post a note on the new stuff in a day or two.

ETA – I’ve just noticed that I didn’t mention a ‘basic tea’ note. I really don’t remember noticing one; but, the brew had plenty of that ‘satisfying’ quality, so it must have been hidden in there, somewhere.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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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