Finally coming back to black tea after a stretch that saw me primarily drinking oolongs, I decided I needed to clean out some more of the black teas that had been in my keep for awhile. This Indonesian black tea was the first one I came to, and since it had been kept under wraps at the back of my tea cabinet since somewhere around April, I decided to go with it. I made this decision because I’m not super familiar with Indonesian teas and wanted to try and review something that would be totally new to me.

I prepared this tea using a simple Western infusion. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 3 minutes. I did not perform any additional infusions. To further put this tea’s capabilities to the test, I also performed 4 and 5 minute infusions, but they did not really differ all that much from the 3 minute infusion, so I will limit my review to the initial preparation.

In the glass, the infused liquor showed a dark amber. The nose was not all that strong, though I managed to detect slight aromas of wood, toast, cream, roasted nuts, and leather. In the mouth, the tea presented a rush of wood, brown toast, cream, black walnut, tobacco, leather, and slightly earthy, herbal, spicy notes. There was a slight astringency on the finish, as well as a lingering woody aftertaste with hints of spices, toast, and leather.

In my opinion, this is a decent little tea, nothing more and nothing less. Its greatest strength is its inherent drinkability. I found this to be one of those approachable black teas that I could drink quite a bit of in one go, which to me means that it is the sort of tea I would pick to unwind with in the afternoon, especially on days where I need a little bit of a pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day. I could also see it making a solid breakfast tea. Its greatest weakness, however, is its lack of depth and complexity. It’s hard not to notice that this tea is very simple-there’s just not a ton going on with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re just looking for an easy rush of caffeine, but it’s most definitely not a good thing if you are looking for something interesting and challenging. In the end, this tea is a mixed bag. I would recommend it to casual drinkers or people looking for something easy to put away, but I would encourage those looking for something unique and flavorful to maybe look elsewhere.

Flavors: Astringent, Brown Toast, Cream, Earth, Herbs, Leather, Spices, Tobacco, Walnut, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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