Since I had a wonderful Korean red tea (in a teabag even!) some years ago, after a very nice meal in a Korean restaurant (before the kimchi etc were “hot” here!), I´m always eager to try Korean teas. So, when I ordered from P&T and saw they offered a Korean tea, I just needed to include a pouch in my order.
From P&T´s website :
Kim Ki-duk’s vivid depiction of the eternal cycle of seasons, ‘Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring’, could well have inspired this outstanding Korean black tea rarity. Plucked and processed entirely by hand in the stunning setting of the Hadong Mountains, this one-of-a-kind specialty yields an incredible five steeps – each as rich and full-bodied as the first. In order to achieve such aromatic longevity, the leaves undergo a prolonged, double oxidation kick-started by fresh, early-morning dew. A vigorous roasting rounds off its complex flavor with booming notes of hearty malt. Subtle whiffs of wild greens and vanilla and its soft cocoa finish make this black tea a delicacy to be savored time and time again.
Bizarre but true : while they do specify the 5 infusions – indicated in text above – on the pouch, online they only recommend 2 infusions of 2 minutes each. I followed the information on the pouch and I believe this tea can indeed be steeped five times each and every time resulting in a nice cup…of a very elegant tea. But the smoky umami flavours they also mention on the pouch seem a bit far fetched to me.
Dry, the loose leaves have delicate aroma´s where the malty heart dominates but is far from overwhelming. The “earthy” notes of cacao come through, in a subtle way though. Once steeped, the tea is lighter than expected, the malty backbone has made place for a wider spectrum of tastes, where the more bitter notes (from the cocoa) are well balanced with sweeter notes, but I wouldn´t associate these with caramel as it stays very light and subtle.
This being said, for me it´s a very nice afternoon tea; as I like my morning tea quite strong, I prefer other black teas. I might try the 2 steep method indicated online to see if the tea then shows its strong character.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke, Tea