|"Delicious plum and berry notes are intermingled with hints of caramelized sugar, malt and toasted bread... This is a deeply satisfying cup thanks to it's full-bodied yet light flavour profile. "|
Since I'd never brewed a black Japanese tea before, I was careful to follow Mellow Monk's recommendations. I brewed a level teaspoonful of leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water for 2 minutes. The dark amber brew has a lightly malty aroma. Again, this seems fairly typical for a black tea. The flavour is entirely another story however. Delicious plum and berry notes are intermingled with hints of caramelized sugar, malt and toasted bread. There is also a touch of thirst-quenching, almost lemony astringency to the finish. I wasn't able to pick out any of the promised smoke flavour but it is certainly brisk and sweet. There is no bitterness whatsoever, the whole affair being silky smooth throughout. I found this first cup deeply satisfying, thanks to its full-bodied yet light flavour profile.
A second one minute-long infusion reveals a cup dominated by a light vegetal sweetness reminiscent of winter squash. There is also a tasty cinnamon toast element present. This steep is much more delicate than the first. Although I did enjoy it, it was a bit lacking in depth of flavour. I expected more from these leaves upon re-brewing.
Left to my own devices, I would use a bit more leaf and steep for half a minute more to get more depth and weight to the infusions. Otherwise this tea is quite an exciting discovery. Like in a dream where familiar elements are recognizable but take on new meanings, Crimson Grove provides a new perspective on black tea. Well worth a splurge!
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