Another from Dark Matter 2016. This is an odd one to describe, because it’s complex without being obvious. That seems an odd thing to type, but sometimes when a tea has a lot of flavours, it just has a lot of flavours. They’re easy to pick out, and you can list them. Not so here. It’s difficult to work out exactly what I’m tasting, and (of course) it’s all coming from the tea rather than added ingredients/flavourings. Regardless, I’m going to have a bash.

The initial sip is sweet, in the way of brown sugar. It’s not as dark or as deeply flavoured as molasses, although it’s heading in that direction. The mid-sip is woody and earthy, quite a contrast with the opening sweetness, and that develops into a mild smokiness that lingers into the aftertaste. Running underneath all that is a soft creaminess.

No single element becomes overpowering, and it’s perfectly smooth with no bitterness or astringency. It’s not my favourite of the Dark Matter teas, but it’s certainly a thought-provoking, take-your-time kind of tea. It wouldn’t, or couldn’t, be a daily drinker for me – it’s the kind of tea that needs contemplation, and not a hurried work day rush. Worth trying – when you have the time!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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