There are some teas, especially black teas, with a strong, rich flavour. In my experience thus far, they tend to be caramel-y back teas, though strong-brewed straight black also qualifies. These are teas that taste best with milk, and maybe a little sugar or honey as well. Something about having a robust tea like this in a big mug… somehow makes the tea. They just… don’t fit with the delicate nature of a teacup, and even a regular mug seems a mismatch. But in a big mug, like, the kind with a thick edge that can easily hold two regular cups of tea? They absolutely thrive.
You can tell what these big mug teas are at first sip. They’re strong, robust and heady. They’ve got a bold flavour and require a bold vessel to carry them in order to feel complete, just like they need the creaminess of the milk and perhaps a hint of sweetness just to round out the flavour and make it into something extraordinary. These teas aren’t ruined by the additions like their daintier cousins. No. They’re enhanced by them, and become magnificent — truly their own.
They especially go well with hot cinnamon buns, but unfortunately I’m lacking at these in the time. Oh well.
However, as you’ll notice, I discovered while drinking my tea today, that it was a big mug tea. The log actually goes through my discovery of the fact, so bear with me if it seems repetitive. I thought of putting this bit at the bottom, but I figured I’d be best explaining myself up front rather than after, plus it adds a sense of consistency to my writing.
With that said, let’s get to the tea!
Day 4: Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
Ingredients: Black tea, coconut, caramel bits, English toffee bits, sea salt, natural and artificial flavouring
Brewed: 1tbsp in my 2-cup pot
First cup: Brewed 5 minutes
Before I even brewed the tea, I had a smell of it, it was very rich and heady. This scent certainly comes through in the tea’s brewed flavour as well. It’s very rich, musky, and, actually, a bit salty and bitter, even though it was only brewed for 5 minutes (with a 4-7 minute brewing recommendation). I’ve got a feeling that this would taste better with milk. Actually… it may taste best as a big mug tea. I’ll have to try that sometime….
Second cup: same steep, brewed for around 40 minutes. Milk and honey added.
While I’m sure it’s oversteeped by now, it’s not bad with the milk and honey. Still rather strong in flavour, though it’s mainly up front. There’s a musky aftertaste, but the strength is mainly right upon the tea hitting my mouth. And I still definitely think this tea would work best in a big mug.
3rd cup — resteep, brewed for 30-40 minutes and poured into BIG MUG with milk
Yes, this is DEFINITELY a big mug tea. And, ok, I kind of forgot I was making this, but with the milk, and the fact that it’s a second steep, it doesn’t taste overdone at all. If anything, I wish the flavour was a little stronger. Still, quite good, and still very musky. A decent second steep for sure, and definitely worth the big mug.
4th cup — re-resteep, brewed for around 30 minutes again, and again taken in BIG MUG with milk
Weaker, more delicate, but still a passable big mug tea.
My overall impression: Bold. Heady. Musty. In almost all the right ways. The flavour combination isn’t quite my favourite, but it’s still quite decent. I think I’d prefer something a little sweeter and less salty. Still, a decent cup of tea.
My rating: 79%. Again. A decent cuppa, good and solid. But it’s not… quite to my tastes. It’s a good big mug tea, that’s for sure, but I’ve had better. So it stays off my to-stock list and my A list, but it remains a solid choice overall, for sure.