Plowing through the teas from White Antlers. This order was ‘Processed on 11/2015’ so it’s at least 5 years old.
The dry leaf is aromatic and smells of orchid and burnt, roasted peach. Prepared close to the directions on the bag which called for 1+tsp, 212F, 4-5min. One+ teaspoon for me ended up being 3g, so I went for my usual 1g:100mL and brewed the tea in 300mL of water off the boil for 4min.
Wow, that is strong! I can’t imagine brewing 1+ tsp for a standard 6oz cup for 5 minutes. Wow, bitter and tannic! Let it cool for a bit. Strong aroma of orchid, malt, complex dried fruitiness like cherry-peach-muscatel; wood, soy sauce, soft cinnamon. The taste is bitter, brisk, biting and tangy with malt, rosewood, oak wood, walnut skin, autumn leaf, mild earth. Finishes a touch umami with complex… long-lingering… slightly perfumey… aromatic tastes of orchid and bitter lavender, muscatel and buttery dried orchard fruits — blackberry, cherry, peach and apple; a hint of soft cinnamon. Second steep is much lighter and lemony!
I recently had a sample of What-Cha’s summer 2019 Benifuuki black tea from Martin Bednar. In comparison, this one hasn’t lost a step in it’s 5+ years of existence. It’s just as strong in presentation and a very unique tea, though too much for me. That said, I wouldn’t search this out but I do recommend it to experienced people who are comfortable with bitterness and playing with brewing parameters. I have another ~3g left and don’t know if I can be fussed to bring this closer to perfection.
Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Biting, Bitter, Blackberry, Burnt, Butter, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Lavender, Lemon, Malt, Muscatel, Oak, Orchid, Peach, Perfume, Roasted, Rose, Soy Sauce, Stonefruit, Tangy, Tannic, Umami, Walnut, Wood