Here is yet another black tea from Arunachal Pradesh. Produced from clonal Panitola A plants, this unique tea displayed a number of interesting traits that would make it perfect for someone wanting to move beyond the more typical Indian black teas. It definitely was one of the best black teas from Teabox that I have tried to this point.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped about 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material produced subtly toasty, malty, woody aromas. After infusion, I picked up aromas of peppermint, wintergreen, lavender, malt, toast, wood, orange blossom, and caramel. In the mouth, the entry was dominated by strong notes of wintergreen oil, peppermint, and lavender before softer, subtler notes of sandalwood, cream, toast, vanilla, orange blossom, and roasted almond appeared. There was a hint of caramel just before the finish as well. The finish, itself, was mild and smooth, offering a nice mix of vanilla, cream, malt, and roasted almond impressions balanced by a touch of wintergreen oil.
Though this was not the most complex Indian black tea I have ever tried, the mix of aromas and flavors displayed by this tea was very unique, and more importantly, everything worked together harmoniously. At times, this tea reminded me a little of some of the quirkier Assams I have tried, yet it still managed to consistently stand apart from them. I would definitely recommend this tea to anyone looking for a flavorful, yet accessible black tea with a fresh combination of aromas and flavors.
Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Cream, Herbs, Lavender, Malt, Orange Blossom, Peppermint, Toast, Vanilla, Wood