Here is yet another older sipdown of mine. I am fairly certain this one comes from April of this year. I recall this tea being something of a pain to get through, not because it was unenjoyable, but because I was very busy and constantly rushed while trying to prepare notes for a review of it. Overall, I found it to be an enjoyable and very solid offering, but it also struck me as lacking in wow factor compared to some of the very best Georgian black teas.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I did not rinse the leaves prior to infusion nor did I attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cedar, malt, sweet potato, cinnamon, and roasted almond. After infusion, I detected new aromas of baked bread, cream, steamed milk, chocolate, raisin, orange zest, and black cherry. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of straw, malt, cream, steamed milk, baked bread, plum, sweet potato, raisin, roasted almond, roasted peanut, cedar, orange zest, and black cherry that were balanced by hints of chocolate, roasted chestnut, fig, date, honey, blackberry, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The finish was very creamy, malty, smooth, and nutty with little to no astringency and a pleasant, lingering afterglow.
Like all of the Georgian black teas I have tried, this one was very creamy and smooth. It did display some nice fruit and spice notes, but I consistently wished they were a little more prevalent during my time with this tea. I also wished the chocolate notes were stronger. Really, this tea just needed a little bit more liveliness in the mouth, one or two amplified flavor components to balance out the strong malty, creamy, milky notes, and it would have been a true gem. As is, however, this tea was still a very nice offering. It just lacked that little something to launch it into that upper tier of Georgian black teas for me.
Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Bread, Cedar, Cherry, Chestnut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Dates, Fig, Honey, Malt, Milk, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Peanut, Plum, Raisins, Straw, Sweet Potatoes