Third tea I tried out of the samples provided by teakruthki!
I’ll be honest and say that I generally avoid CTC grade teas – I know that leaf grades are only an expression of appearance/processing and don’t inherently indicate whether a tea is of lesser or higher quality because of being a specific grade, but I’ve had some pretty damn lousy experiences with CTC teas. They steep up REALLY quickly/strongly because of the increased amount of surface area from the smaller cut, which is why they’re usually recommend to have with milk and sugar, and often have an intense astringency and bitterness as a result.
All of that said – I was actually very impressed by this one. It’s certainly really full bodied and strong, and it would support the addition of milk/sugar and still be a really cup of tea in my opinion but it’s also pleasantly drinkable without any additions to it! There’s a light astringency present that’s actually really nice texturally, and as far as the taste goes I thought this tasted rich and dark – like that of heavier wood types like oak or mahogany, with a nutty undertone and wisps of prune and bitter baker’s chocolate.
Very good CTC, and one I will really enjoy finishing off.