I enjoy this China black as a complement to the dozen Darjeelings I have on hand. It’s a softer drink that is not at all heavy but is still full and rounded. I put it at the lower end of a Blast/Savor spectrum from Lapsong. That makes it an excellent afternoon/early evening alternative to a green tea. I’ve found that it can be weak if I use just a teaspoong and boost it up by a smidgeon. 2.5 minutes seems to work well.
As I range over the good blacks around, I am moving away from Assam and the estate Ceylons — too rough and harsh. The Gold Tips is exceptional in its balance. This supplier is another small individual operation — lousy Web site and small product range but good taste (his and the tea’s) in Cambridge Mass. My daughter is my buyer — I live far away from the store and she reports that it is building a glowing reputation among her friends and neighbors.