8 Tasting Notes
The virtue of this tea is that it’s strong for a decaf black. I don’t like it much by itself, but it mixes well with other decaf black teas, particularly when making decaf masala chai. For that I combine it with a decaf full-leaf Assam, since those tend to be weaker but add more flavor.
It’s hard to get this tea since they only sell to retailers! We get it from Pirosky & Crepes bakery in Everett, WA.
A dramatic Earl Grey. I don’t tend to go for Earl Grey as too much bergamot drowns out the tea flavor, but this one is delicious. Been a while since I had it, perhaps I’ll update next time.
Our go-to for morning tea with milk. This is a nice strong black tea blend, but a bit more rounded in flavor than a CTC Assam.
We tend to steep it pretty close to instructions: 1 Tablespoon per 18-oz teapot, 4 minutes. Do not oversteep (more than 5 minutes).
Chrysanthemum tea is best sweetened slightly, and not made too strong, but the penalty for oversteeping is low. It can be refilled many times. I drank it all summer long when I was in Beijing, only I thought the name was “orange blossom tea” because it sounds like that. Only at the very end of the summer did I bother to look it up to discover that when the shogun is weak this very tea must be strong…
This is not a high-quality tea, but it is the only kind of black tea that I like to drink without milk. It needs to be sweetened, in my opinion (and I always sweeten tea) and it takes only a little milk at most. If you oversteep you get more bitterness and less fruit.
This is one of my favorite teas, introduced to me by a friend who bought me some when I had a tea party. It is close to an assam tea but has flavors that come out very well when drunk with milk, and I love black tea with milk. You should steep it well, and after a couple of months it becomes just a dark black tea.