After a couple of weeks of HOT HOT HOT heat and humidity, flower blossoms in the garden, and the first butterflies of the season, it is suddenly c-c-c-cold and DARK, and it feels like winter! I’m staying inside today, out of the cold, and watching the birds fighting in the back yard. One of the birdhouses has just suffered a raid, and the nest has been scattered across the lawn below. I don’t see any eggs though. The only witness at the crime scene is this robin, but I don’t think he’s the culprit. He wouldn’t fit in the hole. I blame the sparrows; vicious little dinosaurs!
It’s so cold, it’s a good day for tea. I’m brewing up this Gopaldhara Red Thunder Gold Black Tea. I open the packet and breathe in sweet malt and plum aromas. Niiiiiiiiice! The leaves are small, crispy brown curls with some golden tips. It smells so good!
I steep about 1tsp for 2-3 minutes, as instructed, and the tea is a beautiful clear golden amber colour. It smells amaaaaaaazing: sweet and malty, with a wee hint of floral underneath.
The first sip is rich and just a touch bitter, but almost immediately, flowers bloom in my mouth! I can feel the transformation! There is a surprising and delightful sweet floral flavour that floats just over the surface of a smooth maltiness on the tongue. The aftertaste is clean and floral. What an interesting combination of flavours here: sweet, malt, smooth, bitter, floral, fruity, malt again! I actually think I should have used a shorter steeping time, though. There are some serious tannins here that I would have liked to avoid. Next time, I’m pretty sure 45 seconds will be enough for me.
I steep the second cup for about 45 seconds. It’s a bit lighter. It’s different this time, with most of the sweet malty flavour gone, and a lightly sweet floral flavour left behind. I wish I could identify the flower taste… but it’s not like roses, lilies, marigolds, osmanthus, or any other flowers I know. I wish I had more familiarity with different flowers… but I don’t eat them very often! It’s just fresh and light and slightly perfumed… quite nice! This cup definitely doesn’t have the bitter tannins of the first cup, but it has also lost the smooth, silky malt flavour that I really love. I think what I really need to do is brew this a second time…another day… for an initial 30-45 seconds, and enjoy the sweetness, the malt, and the plummy and floral flavours without the bitter tannins.
Consider this post unfinished…