Monday, December 31, 2012

Chad’s Chai & Tea Co., Finnigan’s Wakeup

Chad’s Chai & Tea Description:
The Irish are known to say that tea should be strong enough to stand your spoon up in it. This Irish breakfast tea is indisputably bold, yet lively with fun flowery undertones. And it will take all the milk and sugar you can give it!

My Review:
This partial sample came in the mail from a tea friend recently. I have never heard of this company before, and that makes me happy. I’m trying something new. The leaf is course cut, dark brown almost black pieces, with some light tan mixed in for good measure. I did not notice any distinct scent off the leaf. It smells like tea.

I did not have steeping instructions so I am treating this like a normal black tea on the first cup. I used one healthy scoop, or half the sample, in my press.  I heated the water to boiling and poured over the leaf, steeping for 3 minutes. My room is fairly dark but in the low light this has an interesting ruby red appearance.

This is very smooth. There is no bitterness and no bite. It borders on wanting to be fruity but never commits. I think there is some Darjeeling in here. There is also just a hint of smoke in the background. Surprisingly, for being so smooth, this is very drying. I can feel the astringency in my gut. If you don’t tolerate black teas well, you will need to reduce the amount of leaf and keep the steep time short. This tastes a lot like Prince of Wales, so I am pretty sure it has some Chinese black tea in the mix. I am also sure I got the water too hot and steeped too long.

On the second cup I heated the water to just starting to boil and turned it off. After about 30 seconds I poured over the leaf. This time I steeped for about a minute and a half. Now the cup is well behaved. The flavor is a little stronger but with out the heavy astringent drying of the previous cup. I can definitely tastes Chinese black tea now. The fruity flavor I mentioned is still there as well. If this doesn’t also contain Darjeeling I would be surprised. This is a pretty good cup.

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