Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ahmad English Tea No.1

A blend of black teas lightly flavored with bergamot. When they say lightly flavored they mean just that. This is not Earl Grey but that is ok. This produces a very dark liquor that is smooth and delicious. My first thought was Twinings Prince of Wales but with more character. I enjoyed the first sip while steaming hot and as it cooled it changed flavors slightly and became even better in my opinion. There was no bitterness and no aftertaste. This blend is definitely worth trying. Available in bags and loose. You may not find this brand at your grocer. You can probably find it at an international food market. It is also available online. Amazon is where I buy it.

Update - I finally had the pleasure of trying this from a loose leaf tin. The dry leaf smells exquisite. There is a light touch of bergamot. I steeped about 2g of leaf for 4 minutes with boiling water. The wet leaf is fresh looking small torn pieces. There is a lot of green in the leaf which I am not used to seeing in a black tea. The aroma is leafy with fruity notes – like wine – and bergamot, though this is not an earl grey. The sip has a slight bite, and leaves a dry mouth feel, followed by a fruity aftertaste. I think a shorter brew time would be better. Second cup I steeped 3 minutes. Yep, shorter steep did the trick. This is a really delightful cup that changes character nicely as it cools. About the price of Twinings but I think this is a more refined cup.

As an experiment I kept the leaf overnight to see if I could get another cup out of it. I really expected a lifeless cup that I would pour out after a few drinks. This is the 3rd steep of an inexpensive tea. Steeped 6 minutes with boiling water. When the cup is really hot it is a bit bland, but when the cup cools the flavor jumps out. It isn’t as bold as yesterday but then my first steep was way too long (4 minutes). I think if you keep the first cup at 3 minutes or less all three steeps would be pretty even. Ahmad is a champion at inexpensive blends. Worthy of a try.

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