Friday, January 4, 2008

Margaret’s Hope Muscatel

Scent in package: very lightly fruity
Brewed in: tea-for-one ceramic pot/metal infuser
Steeped: 4 min.@ 212 degrees w/spring water
Cup: Café mug

The first thing that struck me about this tea was the mixed colorations in the dry leaves. Browns, greens, and tippy blacks all make for quite an interesting mixture in the package. The dry leaves don’t seem to have much of an aroma, just a hint of sweet fruitiness.

When brewed, the leaves gained even more interest as they expanded into a light blend of green and brown. The scent was somewhat off-putting though. The liquor itself has very little scent as well, which I find odd for a Darjeeling tea, and especially one that is purported to be very fragrant.

The soup is light in color, golden, and very clear. It’s a thin brew, and very astringent. I think boiling may be too hot for this tea…less heat would possibly dispel some of the astringency and bring out the sweetness.

The taste seems somewhat bland to me – there are notes of pepper and muscatel, but otherwise, it’s kind of boring. I think I’ll try this with tap water and a lower water temperature, and hopefully that will infuse life into this otherwise mediocre cup.

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