Scent in tin: Very light, fruity – reminds me of a Darjeeling
Ratio: 1 tsp leaf to 12 oz. water
Steeped: 5 min. @ 212 degrees, then 3 min. @ 212 degrees
First, I need to express how important it is to actually follow the instructions on the tin with this tea. Do not do as I did, and steep it for 5 minutes, or you’ll end up with a distinctly Darjeeling/muscatal flavor with far more bitterness than is good for the discerning palate. It’s harsh, and…well…just not good. Don’t do it. Especially if you’re not fond of Darjeeling tea (which I’m generally not, though there are a few I’ll drink).
All that said – Do get some of this tea, and brew it up properly at the 3 minute maximum steeping time. It’s fairly astringent, but it’s also very smooth, full bodied and flavorful. It still has that fruity, Darjeeling-type base note (which makes sense, as Darjeeling used to be part of Nepal from what I’ve read…so same basic environmental qualities), but this brew is very well rounded, with an almost smoky flavor that makes it quite “earthy”. A peppery note gives the ending just a little bite, which was an intriguing surprise.
This is my first taste of Andrews & Dunham tea, and I’d say it most definitely is “Damn Fine Tea”. I’m looking forward to trying more from them in the future.