The Final Sipdown: Day 14.3
Hmm… Could drinking black tea at this hour have been a misstep? I GUESS WE’LL FIND OUT.
Ever smell something and have an image flash immediately into your head?
Here’s what I get with this one:
Staring at the hay covered floor of a county fair as a child.
Brewed, this tea smells unmistakingly of barn. It smacks of barn. Get a little closer to it, and it smells more of malt, but from about a foot away? BARN.
Erin was kind enough to send me a rather generous sample of this tea, but given that TFS is upon me, I dumped the entire thing into my Breville and hoped against hope that I wasn’t putting too much tea into it.
Luckily, the tea doesn’t taste overly astringent so I can only assume that my going heavy on the leaf was not a mistake [going light on the steep time may also have helped].
This is a pleasantly smooth black tea with a mouthfeel that sits somewhere between oily and silky. I get a nice, malty flavor from it rather consistently. Somewhat strangely, though, the taste of hay is equally present when I aerate and in the finish.
I’ve smelled hay in black tea before. [Jackee Muntz possesses it, for one.] But the taste of the tea hasn’t ever really possessed it before. And the taste of the hay in this tea is specifically barn hay. [Those who have been around fresh hay and been around a barn know that the scents, while related, are different. Those who have been around fresh hay and been around a barn also know what factors lead to those differences. The rest of you can probably figure it out on your own.] Meaning that in some bizarrely abstract twist, this tea tastes of barn. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
There is a starchiness about Golden Spring as well, but I can’t relay it to anything specific. The aftertaste, however, tastes a bit like a bagel. I’m not really sure where the meat comes into all of this, because I don’t taste it. Unless you count that there are animals in barns. Animals are meat, I guess.
Hardly any astringency, a smidgeon of sweetness, and overall what I would consider a decent black tea. Not overly complex, but sometimes that’s what you need in the morning. Is it leaping forward as something I’d prefer over Eight at the Fort, or some of the better Ceylons I’ve had? No, it’s not. But I’m not going to peg it as something that might not grow on me. If I find myself contemplating upon it during this week, I might pick up a few ounces to keep around.
[And let’s be honest – considering my relationship with Adagio, that’s really saying something.]
Teas Downed: 24