I can definitely taste the notes of honey and muscat grapes in this, which to me are much more present in the smell of the tea than in the taste. Those notes are quickly replaced with the typical black tea taste (which is nice in this one) but this is even more quickly replaced with a bitter taste which lingers a bit. This tea starts out great but the finish is only so-so.

I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do in my steeping to decrease the bitterness – I’m somewhat of a novice so if someone has any suggestions, let me know. I did, however, steep it according to the instructions on the bag, at 190 degrees for 4 minutes. (The instructions state 4-5). There is also a good chance that my tasting experience was corrupted by not having a neutral palate…. I ate a couple of small clementine oranges, which are very sweet, about 10 or 15 minutes before I had this tea.

This tea seems like it has the potential to be quite good if I can find a way to tone down the bitter finish. Second steep soon forthcoming.

EDIT: Second steep still was at 190 but only for 3:40 this time. Much, much less of the bitter taste, however, the other flavors were also diminished. Next time I make this I’ll have to be sure and try a shorter steep time on the first steep.

EDIT 2: Picked up my cup again (the second steep) after it sat awhile and picked up some spicy notes that I didn’t before. Black pepper and another spice that I can pinpoint but the name escapes me at the moment. (I’m not that good with spice names, I’ll look it up in a bit, I know which container in the cupboard it is but not the name.) Definitely very interesting, if nothing else this seems like a very complex tea.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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