I think I have lived off of black tea this weekend. What was supposed to be a nice three day break ended up being a total nightmare. I had to take care of my parents’ home and pets while they were out of town, I had a crisis call that turned into a total pain, and then I had to help a friend with an English final (she was stressing out about it and I had earlier promised to provide assistance). I have been decidedly short on both sleep and me time. Luckily, I was still able to make time to try a new tea.
I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves produced lovely malty, woodsy aromas. After infusion, I detected scents of malt, molasses, honey, wood, camphor/menthol, and citrus. In the mouth, I discovered wonderfully lush, robust notes of malt, cream, wood, caramel, brown toast, brown sugar, cocoa, leather, molasses, honey, blood orange, black walnut, chestnut, and something herbal that seemed to flit back and forth between menthol and camphor, much like it did on the nose. The finish was smooth, toasty, and malty with lingering impressions of roasted nuts, molasses, cocoa, citrus, wood, and leather.
Well, this was a nice Assam-type black tea. It seems that some of the African producers do a great job with the varietal. I was definitely impressed by its handling here. This tea had a ton of flavor, but did not fall prey to unpleasant bitterness and/or astringency. It made for a near perfect pick-me-up on this unseasonably cold, windy, rainy day.
Flavors: Blood Orange, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Camphor, Caramel, Chestnut, Cocoa, Cream, Honey, Leather, Malt, Menthol, Molasses, Walnut, Wood