© 2010 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.
The Subject: Nine Bend Black Dragon from The English Tea Store.
Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: N/A
Aroma, dry: Earthy, woodsy
Aroma in the cup, plain: Earthy, woodsy
Taste, plain: Smooth, no bitterness, mild
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Smooth, earthiness comes through
Taste, enhanced: Smooth, earthiness comes through
2nd Infusion: Not recommended. Weak flavor and a bit edgy, slightly cloudy liquid.
Chilled: Didn’t do, but based on taste of the hot tea, we think this would be great chilled with a bit of sweetener
The name of this tea was so intriguing that we had to do further investigation, which resulted in a whole article about the results.
The tea itself lives up to expectations. The flavor fresh out of the pouch is earthy, woodsy (some call it “oaky”), and very intriguing. The tea sort of glided over our tongues in a gentle flow of flavor. That’s the best way we know to put the sensation into words. Hubby thought it was one of the best he has ever had, except for the weak 2nd infusion (we had to deduct a half teapot because of this). He even said he’d give up coffee for it. Wow! I might have to hide the rest of the 4-ounce pouch we bought for this review so that I get at least another cupful. (Just kidding — I always share!)
We can easily enjoy this tea plain, but to be thorough we also tried it with a little milk and sweetener. That woodsiness still came through, and the milk smoothed the flavor even further. However, even though we only used a little sweetener, it still seemed to overwhelm the tea. This may be one tea that needs no sweetener, either with or without milk added.
About the English Tea Store pouches: They’re thick enough to keep odors from straying. They have a clear “window” in the front and a clear bottom panel; just store them in a dark place. They’re resealable; squeeze out the excess air before resealing so the tea stays fresher longer. All told, one of the better packaging methods out there. A drawback is that some of the more delicate teas like this one, with its long, thin tea leaf pieces, are subjected to the possibility of being crushed into a powder. Fortunately, the company packs its teas well enough in the shipment boxes to avoid that. You just need to exercise some care when you handle them at your home or office.
Disclaimer: We bought this tea. However, whether purchased or a free sample, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.
More fantastic tea reviews are available at Little Yellow Teapot Tea Reviews! Stop by and check them out today!