|"It was difficult for me to pinpoint at first, but I detected mint, cinnamon and fennel on the nose. A very uniquely spicy smell, even more so than high altitude Indian teas of the Darjeeling persuasion."|
A few Bolivian-grown teas have surfaced on Teaviews on occasion. Alas, I never had the opportunity to try them until now. Thanks be to KTeas for providing such a new opportunity. Half of my fixation/obsession with tea revolves around the unique origins, stories, and myths centered around this beautiful beverage. But enough poetic (or pathetic) dilly-dallying.
The KTeas profile compares this to an Assam without the bite. Appearance-wise, it bore no passing resemblance to the hearty Indian black. If I were to make a cursory comparison, I would say it resembled a Formosan black or oolong, heavily roasted. The scent, however, did not support the roasted appearance at all. It was difficult for me to pinpoint at first, but I detected mint, cinnamon and fennel on the nose. A very uniquely spicy smell, even more so than high altitude Indian teas of the Darjeeling persuasion.
Brewing instructions were a wonderful shade of simple; 2 heaping teaspoons in 8oz of boiling water for three-to-five minutes. I followed the measurements exactly - since KTeas was usually spot-on with the recommendations - but brewed on the low side for only three minutes. Not a fan of a tannic oversteep.
The tea leaves infused the water to liquid chestnut. The mouthpiece aroma was indeed malty like that of an Assam with a residual spicy tickle at the end. It was a very clean scent. I'm in agreement that - at least in that department - it didn't have much bite. On the flavor front, the foretaste possessed an astringent kick, but that settled quite nicely into a creamy, caramel-like middle with a molasses lean. No real aftertaste to speak of except to say the malt aspect lingered. A grand addition to the black tea ranks.
It's interesting to note that during traditional Bolivian tea time, empanadas are a compliment. I know that a McDonald's is nearby. Hrm, pondering...nah.
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