|"This Red Robe has a very smokey character. The cup also features robust oak, pine resin, nutmeg and tobacco notes. Despite its rather rugged profile, this tea has a surprisingly smooth feel. Those who like a very “masculine” cup will be pleased. "|
Since there are no brewing instructions on the ThepuriTea's website, I did a bit of research and initially decided upon using 1 and a half teaspoons of leaves in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. This led to an intensely acrid cup. I started over with more delicate brewing parameters, reducing the water temperature to 80 degrees Celsius. This Red Robe still has a very smokey character. The dark coppery brew displays a pungent smoke and malt aroma. Thankfully, the intensity of the smoke seems to lessen as the tea cools. Sweeter malt and squash flavours emerge as well. The cup also features robust oak, pine resin, nutmeg and tobacco notes. Despite its rather rugged profile, this tea has a surprisingly smooth feel.
After a 4 minute steep, my second cup is remarkably similar to the previous one, with an abundance of dark wood and smoke notes. The first few sips are rather ashy tasting but as the tea cools it becomes sweeter and more palatable. The trick is really to wait a while before drinking it.
I brewed the leaves for a final 5 minute infusion. This cup is much fruitier in profile. Raisin, squash and cedar notes feature more prominently than before now. Some unpleasant roughness is starting to appear in the finish, which is why I decide to call it a day.
This is not quite what I was expecting from a Red Robe. Other ones I've tried have been much fruitier. Overall, I found this brew to be lacking in balance, overly smokey and one dimensional. I wouldn't buy this for myself. However, those who like a very smokey, “masculine” cup will be pleased.
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