After a very long day at work, I came home and unwound with several cups of this tea. It was my first South American tea, and after trying it, I can honestly say that I will be keeping my eye out for more teas from Bitaco. This was a rock solid, traditional black tea that was very approachable and easy to drink.
I prepared this tea two ways. First, I steeped about 3 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. The second preparation was a multi-step process. I steeped 4 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 2 minutes, the followed this infusion with 3 and 5 minute infusions in the same amount of water and at the same temperature.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves produced a woody, subtly malty bouquet with hints of citrus. The single infusion produced a bouquet that was heavy on oak, malt, orange, lemon zest, and black walnut. In the mouth, I detected notes of chocolate, brown toast, malt, cream, lemon zest, orange peel, black walnut, and chestnut underscored by hints of caramel and sorghum. The finish was pleasantly woody and citrusy with lingering malt and nut tones in the background. The multi-step Western process allowed the tea to emphasize different aspects of its aroma and flavor profiles with each infusion. The first infusion emphasized nut, malt, cream, and mild chocolate impressions, while the citrus, wood, toast, and sorghum aromas and flavors provided balance. The second infusion saw the caramel appear and the chocolate, citrus, and toast emerge more fully. The third and final infusion saw malt and nut notes return to the fore, while the oak wood impressions continued to remain prominent.
This was a nicely balanced black tea with a passing resemblance to some high grade Assams, though I, personally, found its styling to be more reminiscent of some Chinese black teas. It would make a good breakfast or afternoon tea. I would have no issue recommending this tea to anyone looking for a flavorful tea for regular consumption.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Caramel, Chestnut, Chocolate, Cream, Lemon Zest, Malt, Molasses, Oak wood, Orange, Walnut