Why don’t you pull up a chair (unless you’re already on one in which case you can skip this step) and I’ll tell you a little story.
Once upon a time I joined steepster, after being introduced to David’s tea and falling in love with not only the tea, but with everything it implied: a sense of peace, the act of preparing it, the almost spiritual experience of tasting it, the anticipation, everything. And then I read reviews and saw that people were swapping and I wanted to be a part of the craze!
Not to worry, said dexter3657, I’m your girl! So she very kindly packages up a million teas to send to me. In the meantime, I placed an order with Dellaterra, and sat back and waited for my teas to start rolling in.
Got a package in the mail, and instantly messaged dex.
Me: Omg! thanks! Just got the tea! I’m on my office floor, in fact, surrounded by all this lovely tea!
Me: yeah! best feeling ever!
Dex: Um, keychange? your package is saying it’s still in Manitoba. It isn’t supposed to reach you for like another few days at least.
Me: Horse hockey! It’s right here in my office! It’s in…lots of little zipped bags…that are sealed.
Dex: My packages are different sizes and all that sort of thing. Are you sure it isn’t something else?
And then it dawned on me. Of course this was my sampler from Dellaterra! whoops!
So there’s a good little blind story for you guys.
So five thousand years later, I got around to having a friend help me make labels for all my samples, and this was the first one I wanted to try. I’d read some really good reviews for it by other black tea lovers, so I had this with breakfast this morning. Dex was very generous with the sample, so I can enjoy a few more cups of this also!
The dry leaf smells a lot like black tea. I couldn’t glean too much more than that, because you know how it is with swaps and such—although I don’t think I was picking up on any other smells, it wasn’t the same as sticking my nose into a tin or anything like that. But I also love the smell of black tea so that wasn’t a problem. I brewed it up and let it steep for four minutes.
And wouldn’t you believe—it’s almost a dead ringer (in my opinion) for Queen Catherine! If I concentrate really hard, I think this blend has a touch more astringency, and a slightly (very very slightly) drier mouth feel, but that could all just be in my imagination. I’m getting the slight smoke from what I’m assuming is keemun, and I wonder if there’s some assam in here to explain the slight malt/dryness. Either way, I gulped this right down because anything that tastes like the queen is mighty fine by me. I’m delighted to have more of this to sip at, but thankfully won’t have to make the A and D purchase (which I hear has insane shipping to Canada), because I don’t need two queens: only one LOL.
Thank you so much, dex, for sharing this with me. You were the first person on steepster to so generously send a bunch of tea my way, and I’m sorry it took me so long to get around to sampling them! You’re awesome.