I have finally done it. Here is the review/tasting note for tea #200. As I eclipsed the 150 mark, I began to wonder if I could manage to find the time to try 200 teas this year. I then challenged myself to do so. Though I am cutting it close, this review marks #200 for me.
I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped approximately 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I have tried multi-step infusions for this tea in the past, but I have not liked the results quite as much as those obtained from a single extended infusion.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted gentle, pleasant aromas of toffee and raisin. After infusion, the scents of toffee and raisin were joined by malt and cream. In the mouth, gentle, superbly integrated notes of golden raisin, toffee, malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, pistachio, and roasted almond washed across the palate. The finish emphasized a lingering balance of the flavors described above plus a note of steamed milk. Overall, the flavor reminded me a lot of kheer, the Indian rice pudding.
This was a very sweet, mellow, resilient tea that seemed to adapt easily to a number of different brewing styles. There was absolutely no tannic bite or any astringency whatsoever. One thing I’m beginning to notice about a lot of these Georgian black teas is that their mild, balanced flavor and smooth texture give way to an extremely robust, flavorful, and long-lasting finish. With this tea, I was continually impressed by how much flavor lingered in my mouth after the swallow and how wonderfully soothing the afterglow was. Due to this tea’s lack of bite, astringency, and immediate caffeine jolt, I would not recommend it as a breakfast tea or as a tea to be paired with heavier foods. I would, however, strongly recommend it as an afternoon or evening tea to be consumed on its own or paired with lighter, sweeter fare.
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Cream, Malt, Milk, Nutmeg, Nutty, Raisins, Toffee