|"The tea leaves are many colored and the scenting very fresh, with faint overtones of both floral and tobacco nature."|
Tavalon's offering is a summer flush of the estate, and is very attractive to the eye. The tiny leaves are many colored ranging from the predominant dark brown to paler shades of golden browns and even light green leaves on occasion. The scenting is very fresh, with faint overtones of both floral and tobacco nature. The Tavalon website suggests a muscatel flavor, which seems very appropriate.
I steeped this on the longer side for a black tea as I wanted to really draw out the flavors. My initial steeping was a four minute plus a few seconds, and this rewarded me with a light copper colored brew with a bright, refreshing countenance. The flavors are light but full. There's a definite floral sweetness to this tea, and a pleasantly dry aftertaste, but not really an astringency that jumped out at me.
I found this tea to be best with minimal or no sweetener added. There's a mild natural sweetness that is very rewarding in and of itself and there's a light, floral sort of brightness to this tea that is ideal for a soft wake up in the morning and I expect would be a fine afternoon brew. I think this tea would take well to chilling as well. The tea is definitely delicate in nature. It's not brash in any sense of the term. The flavors are full though, and I found this a wonderfully balanced tea.
I enjoyed my second infusion even better, in some senses, though "differently" is probably more apt. I left the leaves to steep for ten minutes and this brought forth a darker colored (more cidery) tea with no bitterness or astringency and a more developed, even slightly toasty sweetness.
I very much enjoyed this tea. I think people with some aversion to black teas due to their perceived (or true) strength (and potential for bitterness?) would find this a refreshing choice. Sweet and delicate, but nicely balanced with body. This is a wonderfully fresh, refined and pleasant cup to savor. And at a price of $13.00 for 5 ounces, this seems very well priced, to boot.
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