I totally forgot I had this Japanese black tea in the cupboard. Honestly, I couldn’t remember buying it. I bought several Japanese black teas from Tealyra last year, but thought I had finished them all. I apparently did not, so I have been spending the last couple days finishing the 25 g sample pouch of this tea. Overall, I did not care for this one as much as the others.
I prepared this tea two ways. First, I brewed it strong, steeping 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 205 F water for 5 minutes. The second preparation was 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 205 F water for 3 minutes. I did not attempt additional infusions with either preparation.
I noticed that the dry tea leaves produced a malty, toasty, woody, and slightly vegetal bouquet. The five minute infusion produced a highly malty, toasty, tannic bouquet with a hint of chocolate and a definite vegetal quality. The three minute infusion was similar, albeit ever so slightly milder on the nose. In the mouth, the tea was very astringent and tannic. I noted flavors of malt, bitter chocolate, walnut, leather, straw, roasted grain, brown toast, and wood with traces of stewed legumes, char, tobacco, and molasses. The finish was woody and astringent with a pronounced malt character. The only real difference between the two preparations in the mouth was that the 3 minute infusion was slightly gentler overall.
Honestly, this tea did not do it for me. It was not terrible, but it did not have the aroma and flavor profiles I tend to seek out in a black tea. If it had a little more sweetness to balance out everything else, I most likely would have found it more appealing. All in all, this was just not for me.
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Toast, Char, Chocolate, Grain, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Straw, Tannic, Tobacco, Vegetal, Walnut, Wood