|"This is a tea that is well worth steeping again and again. It's well rounded flavour profile seesaws between cocoa, caramel and fruit notes, and savoury toasted bread and popcorn flavours."|
Following Butiki Teas' recommended brewing instructions, I infused a heaping teaspoonful in 8 ounces of water heated to 195 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes. The rusty brown liquor as well as the brisk malt and toasted bread scent are reminiscent of an Assam. A smooth mixture of malt and cocoa that dominates the flavour profile. There is some astringency here but it's perfectly blended with the tea's sweeter tones and never becomes unpleasant. More elusive walnut, toasted bread, pear and caramel notes also appear, especially in the finish. Despite feeling brisk, it's also rather light. I would hesitate to add anything to this tea. The many delicate facets it has to offer would easily be obscured by milk or sugar.
After a 4 and a 5 minute steep, my two subsequent and preferred infusions feel lush and full-bodied. A pleasant savoury/sweet quality develops that makes me think alternately of peanut brittle and caramel popcorn. As such this tea vaguely mirrors the flavour of Dian Hongs and other Chinese red teas. The finish is slightly drying, with a lingering malt and sweet butter flavour.
I tried a final, fourth infusion, just to see how far these leaves could be pushed. The sweet, fruity aftertaste is still there. Otherwise the top notes are very mild and mineral tasting at this point. While not harsh or unpleasant in any way, these leaves are past their prime now.
This is a tea that is well worth steeping again and again. It's well rounded flavour profile seesaws between cocoa, caramel and fruit notes, and savoury toasted bread and popcorn flavours. I would recommend erring on using more rather than less leaf to get a more full-bodied cup. I'm quite happy to have entered the world of orthodox Kenyan teas and look forward to trying many more! Highly recommended.
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