The dry leaf smells of straw. I used a generous ½ scoop (my scoop is the 7g scoop that comes with the Bodum press), boiling water, and a 3 minute steep. The brew is a neat orange root beer color. This is very finely cut CTC but bigger than dust, so it didn’t make too much of a mess in the press. Any finer and it would require a Finum filter basket for easier clean up.
The taste is much improved over my last attempt. Last time I had the second steep with less leaf and a lower water temperature. It was fairly bland. Today’s parameters yielded a light bodied cup with mild fruity notes. It has a bit of the flavor of the grape leaves our local Chinese restaurant uses in some of their dishes. As the cup cools I am noticing a malt scent as I sip. This is a very drying tea. It is not bitter, just very astringent. If you are sensitive to black teas, it is not a good idea to sip this on an empty stomach.
I have to say I prefer Ahmad over this offering from Twinnings. It’s not horrible. I just think you can do better. The flavor is thinner than I like. Although it does improve considerably as the cup cools. It is too astringent, at least for me, and having it instead of breakfast left me with a burning sensation. Nice fruity aftertaste though.