A thick, creamy, rich tea. For me, a good ripe is like a good Irish stout – an earthy and creamy richness balanced with a grainy dryness that hints at sweetness but never quite gets there. I would say this tea fits squarely in that sort of realm.
This tea definitely shines when you use plenty of leaf – don’t be cheap otherwise you will left with a brew that is a little too dry and sawdusty. I used 9 g for 90 ml and was a very happy (and caffeinated) camper.
The only drawback is that I feel like it does not develop a great deal. This could be due to two things: 1) it is not a blend of different leaf sizes, thus leading to a more uniform experience, and/or 2) I’m not a ripe connoisseur and generally find most ripes to be a little less complex than other teas. Take what you will from that!
Either way, definitely well above cheap ripes – no off flavors or wateriness here. Quality brew.
Dry leaf: EARTHY – rich soil, coffee grounds, cream of wheat. In preheated vessel: nutty sweetness, cherry cordial
Smell: EARTHY, WOODY, SWEET – cream of wheat, oatmeal, cherry wood, dark chocolate with cherry, rich soil, cola
Taste: EARTHY, SWEET – cream of wheat, oatmeal, coffee grounds, cocoa powder, pumpernickel bread, faint cherry wood sweetness, hints of dried date and fig, hints of bourbon in later steeps