At last, I have reached what I hope will be the pinnacle of my coconut journey. I’m really excited to try this one given all the love it has here on Steepster.
Also excited because I can’t remember whether I’ve had Nilgiri before. It might have shown up in a blend somewhere along the line but I don’t recall ever having tasted it straight before.
The coconut in here, being toasted, looks different than the coconut in other blends I’ve tried recently. It’s in long thin strips that look a little like flower petals in tea. The Nilgiri leaves are big, dark and sort of coarse looking. The fragrance of the dry mix is intense. Very volatile, almost alcohol-smelling.
After steeping I can really smell the tea more than coconut, though there’s a coconut note there, for sure. The tea’s aroma has a really pretty floral note to it that I wasn’t expecting. The liquor is medium-light amber.
I should say that I steeped this according to Premium Steap’s directions and put it at boiling rather than at a lower temperature, which I’ve been doing with other flavored blacks, mostly because it seems sometimes to bring more flavor out. Other times it doesn’t or doesn’t make a difference. But I wanted to go according to the book the first time with this one.
And yes, there’s a difference in flavor between toasted and nontoasted versions of coconut black tea, though not as much as I had expected, and though I’m not sure how much the Nilgiri contributes to the mix since I’m rather a Nilgiri neophyte. I have to say the American Tea Room version was pretty impressive notwithstanding its nontoastedness. That said, I’m really enjoying the macaroon flashes I’m getting from this, especially as the tea cools and especially in the minutes after sipping.
To me, the most impressive part about this is the blend. It’s not a black tea with coconut sitting on top so much as it is a tea that seems to be imbued with coconut flavor. Like they can’t really be separated from each other. I’m always pretty impressed by teas that manage to do this as it seems much more difficult to accomplish than just flavoring tea (though I have no idea whether this is true, it just seems that way because it’s rarer than an obvious flavoring).
The true test of this one will be tasting it in isolation without earlier coconuts still in my tastebuds’ memories, but so far it’s in front, with the ATR close behind. I could see this and the ATR coexisting in my cupboard much in the same way I can see The du Loup and Florence coexisting as though they’re similar, they’re different enough to be… well… different.