This is the final tea in an order I made from Mountain Stream several years ago. Given my well-known penchant for bug-bitten teas, it was inevitable that I’d pick this up, especially given Derk’s glowing review. It isn’t currently on their website, so I’m following Derk’s parameters of 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, 90, 120, and 240 seconds using 6 g of leaf in 120 ml of 195F water.
The heady dry aroma is of honey, grain, and citrus. The first steep is very light and immediately indicates by its strong cereal aroma that this is a roasted tea. I get lots of honey, citrus, rose, and wood. The next steep is stronger and has citrus, cherry, grain, mild spices, rose, and lots of honey, but also a touch of astringency. The aftertaste is woody, drying, and a bit sour, though the honey aroma at the bottom of the cup is mouthwatering. The next couple steeps feature the same flavours, but the fruit starts to disappear by steep five, leaving honey, grain, and roast. The end of the session is much like a black tea, with notes of malt, honey, and tannins.
While I enjoyed the fruity flavours and beautiful aromas in this tea, the roast was quite noticeable and I didn’t think it was well integrated. I’ve had many bug-bitten teas and am a bit spoiled regarding this type, and my rating probably reflects that. The tea also lacks longevity. I won’t have trouble finishing my 25 g pouch, but am glad I didn’t buy more.
Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Citrus, Drying, Grain, Honey, Malt, Roasted, Rose, Spices, Sweet, Tannin, Wood