The perfect fit for a delicate afternoon tea.
The tin is part of the same 2015 series of loose leaf twining teas. You can read a full review of the tin in the “English Breakfast Loose Leaf” review found earlier. The tin is well made and gives a tight seal to prevent premature oxidation of the tea. This helps the tea stay fresh for much longer. The differences between this tin and the others will be the color and imagery of the label background. The color is an attractive purple which grows lighter as you move toward the middle of the tin. The top and bottom are saturated in color while the middle is a milky white color. This white runs the circumference of the tin. The label font is white with parchment color for the main heading. The color presents nice visual harmony and makes it easy to read.
The size of the leafs are small when compared against other twining tins. They are similar in size and shape which makes me think of heavy processing. The composition of leafs and twigs are majority black tea. With brown, caramel, green leafs intermixed. There is an occasional parchment colored leaf hinting at a sort of flavoring added to the mixture.
Using 5g of loose leaf tea I made three brews using 100C water for 30 seconds. The first brew is a light orange color almost yellow in hue. I don't think there is artificial coloring. But with a processed tea I wouldn't put it past them. The quick and bright color is unlike other teas I have tired. During the third brew the color become brighter. Unnatural in its appearance. It looks like a traffic cone. If I had followed the normal practice of a 3-5 min brew this would never come to my attention.
The taste is light with muscatel notes. There is a negligible earthy taste owing to the black teas in the blend. By the second brew it disappears. Looking inside the glass there is a great amount of leaf particles inside the tea. Since I used a fine strainer there must be lower quality leafs in this blend. There are few “white hairs,” even compared to other twining loose leafs. These hairs are synonymous in higher quality leafs. This reinforces my conclusion for low grade leafs.
The taste shifts to fruity notes during the second brew. The grape and tea taste becomes clear. It features a heavier mouthfeel than other twinning teas I have tried. I find no spice or bitterness as with most darjeeling teas. The mouthfeel becomes more pleasing as you sip.
The third brew lessens each taste with some citrus on the aftertaste. There is little change in the composition of taste through the three brews. Only minor variations among the four tastes mentioned before. Described as “A delicate Indian tea with a unique character” it painted an interesting picture. Mountains shrouded in fog as sunshine peaks through an opening. It maintained a light taste throughout the review. It is a pleasing tea perfect for the afternoon. It pairs well with snacks as the mouthfeel does not block other tastes.
The dry leafs are light in smell. They give off a faint earthiness which mixes with woody notes. I find the aroma is distinct but flat. During the first brew the scent is like the dry leafs but it begins to expand during the second brew. The aroma of black tea, muscatel, citrus and fruit are easier to sense.