Made a quick and dirty cold brew of this before leaving the house yesterday morning. About a tablespoon of leaves unceremoniously dumped into the bottom of a 16 ounce double-walled glass thermos, filled with cold tap water, flimsy mesh strainer insert to keep the leaves down in the liquid where they belong. It then got to sit in my icy cold car (yay, 11F February afternoons!) until 3 pm, when I was able to briefly scuttle out of the haul truck I was operating and nab it to sip on for the rest of the day.

First impression: smells like warm red grapes and tobacco. I had made a heavenly batch of cold brewed Shan Tuyet the day before using the same method, and the contrast between those two cups really shows how different black teas can be. They can go from the malty cocoa goodness of cold Shan Tuyet to…. well, tasting like blood on the first sip. Really thought I screwed something up with this one because it has that overripe red raspberry flavor that teeters into the sanguine category of tastes. Lots of acidic, wine-y, tobacco notes behind that. It has depth once you get past the initial pungency.

It’s not unpalatable by any means, but I don’t think this tea and I are compatible. Going to try it in hot water before I give it a numerical rating. Who knows, that blood flavor might go away with some heat! (I hope.)

Flavors: Raspberry, Red Wine, Sour, Tobacco

Iced 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Eel and tea lover. Big fan of dark oolongs, Nepal blacks, and fruity herbals. I occasionally make the terrible mistake of trying weird teas and then spend a good 5 minutes scrubbing my tongue with a toothbrush trying to get the taste out of my mouth.

100: Downright addictive.
95+: A definite favorite. This is something I’ll reach for again when I want something special.
90-95: I’d drink this again without question. There’s probably 4 ounces of it sitting by the tea kettle.
80-89: I’m glad I tried this and I’ll happily drink through the rest of the pouch. Might not be on the reorder list, though.
60-79: This is either mediocre and acceptable or I hate it and don’t want to skew the rating.
40-59: Uh, this is drinkable. Probably.
20-39: We’re entering the abyss. Here lies danger.
1-19: Please take me out if I ever try to brew this one again.

If I’ve recently reviewed something that you’d like to try, let me know! I usually buy teas in 25 gram samples and have extra to pass around.



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