|"A number of this purveyor’s teas have made me go “Wow!” and this was one of them. The flavor was a zingy balance of smooth, light, slightly spicy black tea and a pronounced tangy apricot presence that complimented rather than overpowered the tea itself. The finish was strongly apricot and saffron. "|
I infused two teaspoons of dry leaves in one cup of 208F water for two minutes. The resulting liquor was a clear, dark coppery brown, and redolent of fresh cut apricots. And now for the tasting. A number of this purveyor’s teas have made me go “Wow!” and this was one of them. The flavor was a zingy balance of smooth, light, slightly spicy black tea and a pronounced tangy apricot presence that complimented rather than overpowered the tea itself. The finish was strongly apricot and saffron. I like my black teas strong, but wouldn’t recommend a longer steeping for this one. There was plenty of bold, robust flavor without so much as a hint of bitterness. I also was not even tempted to add my usual splash of half and half. I don’t use sugar, but a touch might enhance the apricot flavor, although I personally didn’t feel it needed any enhancement. I managed to stop myself halfway through the first infusion so I could chill it down, but it took some will power.
Preparing for the second infusion, I inspected the leaves. Unfurled now, they were somewhat broken but still large, and the saffron blossoms had expanded, as well. The apricot fragrance was still fresh and strong; there was no stewed smell at all. I infused them for two minutes. The color was more golden copper this time, but the apricot fragrance was still going strong, smelling of freshly sliced fruit. The black tea flavor was more apparent in this infusion, but there was still plenty of apricot and saffron in the finish that lingered nicely on the tongue and in the nose.
A third infusion of two minutes stood up surprisingly well, too, with no stewing. The fragrance was still fresh and evident. The flavors were milder, more mellow, with the black tea coming through firmly now, but still a strong cup. Not bad for a black!
When the first infusion had chilled, I added iced and took a sip. Outstanding! For the sake of experimentation, I added a bit of sugar. It was nice, but not necessary. The natural sweetness of the tea itself was enough for me and I found I didn’t want to adulterate the apricot flavor.
This is a really beautiful tea with lots of staying power. Given its power to stand up to multiple short steepings, hot or cold, it’s also an affordable luxury. Very highly recommended!
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