Brewed some of this in a Pyrex measuring cup before pouring it into a plastic travel mug like a sophisticated person last night. Didn’t want to waste my last chance to have a cup of caffeinated tea even though I had to run down to the barn after work for horse activities. It’s a really interesting brew, even with the notes of polymer that you get from pouring hot tea into a “microwave safe” plastic cup and letting it sit in there until it’s cool enough to drink.
First of all, the dry leaves are beautiful. Spindly and long like antlers, they hook around each other with the curled ends and lift out of the bag in gnarled clumps. The scent is peppery and dark with hints of grape. When you brew them, they smell… like a classic black tea. Heady and brisk with a hint of tannins that you don’t actually end up tasting.
The flavor is completely free of astringency—I think. The plastic notes were overwhelming some stuff in the flavor, but I’ve had it once before in a proper mug and recall it being terribly smooth—with a definite brandy taste. Red grapes, aged wine. Nothing sour or tart about it. It’s easy to forget that you’re drinking this because there aren’t any potentially unpleasant or out-of-place notes that grab your attention. I think the best way I can describe it is as a polished Lipton. It tastes familiar and I wouldn’t hesitate to offer it to someone who likes a plain black cup of tea without any frills.
Flavors: Ash, Black Pepper, Brandy, Grapes, Red Wine