|" What I ask of any flavored tea is natural flavor and a balance of those flavors and this is a delicious, delightful example of both. "|
The dry leaves are in smallish pieces and quite black, and generously sprinkled with white bits and greenish white pieces of cardamon husks. The fragrance of the spice obscures anything else, but it is fresh, sweet, and natural.
I infused a teaspoon of dry leaves in a cup of 195F water for three minutes. The resulting liquor was a medium coppery golden red, and redolent of cardamon. I wasn't especially surprised not to be able to smell the teas, since it is such a strong spice. However, the flavors of the Assam and Nilgiri blended very well with the cardamon. The brightness of the Nilgiri is often used for chai teas, and it held its own here, shining through, while the malty, biscuity mellowness of the Assam provided a sort of bass note for the trio. What I ask of any flavored tea is natural flavor and a balance of those flavors and this is a delicious, delightful example of both. The cardamon in no way overpowers the teas, as too often happens. The combination is mouth filling, refreshing, sunny, and velvety smooth on the tongue, with a fragrant, spicy sweet finish.
The leaves in the pot were open now, and in fragments, probably the result of C-T-C (cut tear curl) machine processing, which is quite common, especially with Nilgiris in flavored teas, flecked with cardamon pods. I infused them a second time for four minutes and got a fairly good second cup out of it.
While this is also very nice iced, it's a cold winter day here in Redlands as I write this, and sitting here by the fire, this is the perfect grey day hot drink. Very highly recommended! And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go make myself another cup.
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