|"This is a truly excellent Yunnan black - creamy caramel and buttery bread notes round out more astringent tobacco and wood tones. It’s definitely worth a try, especially at this price point! "|
Tea at Sea is a Canadian company that is new to me. Their website and packaging is user-friendly and quite cute, with nautically inspired themes. Their catalogue features a variety of loose organic teas, sourced directly from farmers. Grown in Menglai Hill, at an altitude of 1200-2000m above sea level, this particular tea is described as “earthy, light, refreshing with hints of caramel”. My sample comes in a re-sealable foil envelope – Yes! The leaves vary in colour from ebony to gold. Their aroma is malty and sweet, with a touch of wood and spice.
I steep a heaping teaspoonful of leaf in 250ml of freshly boiled water. After 3 minutes smooth, creamy malt and raisin notes blend with a touch of cinnamon and buttery bread undertones. Just a hint of tannic astringency balances things out. It’s delicious!
I brew the leaves again for 3 and a half minutes. The results are still rather sweet with hints of caramel, cinnamon and brown sugar. At the same time, the cup is a little more peppery in taste and feel, and thus less decadently creamy.
I try a third steep following 4 and a half minute steep. It doesn’t dazzle like the previous two cups but it’s not a waste of time either. Most of the flavour is now concentrated in mild peach and malt finish. I decide to quit while I am ahead.
Tea at Sea actually recommends a 5 to 6 minute long brew. The longer steep accentuates tobacco and wood tones of the cup, as well as its more fermented, “barney” flavours. It’s slightly more astringent than my shorter brew but also creamier and sweeter. There is no need for milk and sugar, even at this length. Re-steeping the leaves is less successful however, the leaves petering out more quickly.
Tea at Sea generally features quite reasonably priced teas. You can try all of their 11 teas for 10$! Sadly this offering only seems available in sample sizes – perhaps it’s just a glitch with the website? I can definitely see myself ordering from them in the future. This is a truly excellent Yunnan black – creamy caramel and buttery bread notes round out more astringent tobacco and wood tones. It’s definitely worth a try, especially at this price point!
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