Apparently I need to dig deep in my tea pantry every so often because I forget what all I have. I just rediscovered this one, something sophistre sent me ages ago that I managed to hide from myself behind other teas. Which is a shame because it smells lovely – a little woody with a floral sweetness that makes me think of candied (but not super-sugary) flowers. Hopefully it will taste as good as it smells, because after accidentally dumping my meatloaf into the bottom of the oven, I need a little pick me up.
Four minutes seemed like a long steep so I went with three. The smell is gentle and woodsy and alternates between nectar-y and honeyed. There’s a little fruitiness that reminds me of Samovar’s Royal Garland, too. All signs point to happy tea-ness.
The taste is thinner, higher and sweeter than Royal Garland but it’s still really good. Very fruity on the front end, making me think of a papaya-flavored drink I had once. There’s an end taste that is cleanly woody and an aftertaste that is very fruity. Once again I’m thinking of papaya but that fruity taste is what I’m guessing the tasting notes are calling apricot, which I can totally see (though more dried apricots than fresh). The eventual aftertaste (after not sipping for several minutes) is an almost bitter/sour astringency that actually makes me think of sencha. It’s not desirable, but it’s not icky either. All in all, a very pretty tea. I’m glad I dug it out of my pantry!