Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: KTeas
Each sip of this black tea reveals new dimensions in the flavor profile. The terroir of Hawaii imbues these high-quality leaves with a clean, smooth, refined flavor profile in which you will likely find no astringency nor bitterness. Some of the growers’ descriptors serve best: Crystalline amber infusion. Thin, crisp body. Delicate notes of caramel, varley malt, and rice syrup. Slight taste of roasted sweet potato.
I’ve tasted several Hawaiian-grown teas now, and I must say that I’ve been impressed with just about every one that I’ve tried. This Makai Black Tea from KTeas is no exception.
The color of the liquor is lighter than I expected it to be; it is a clear, medium-to-dark amber color much like the liquor of a dark Oolong. There is something else to this tea that reminds me of an Oolong – the texture. It has a softness to the mouthfeel that I often experience with Oolong tea.
This has such a nice complexity. Beautiful malty tones and a rich sweetness that I would describe as somewhere between honey and (as the description above suggests) rice syrup. I also get the hints of caramel here, as well as the faintest note of cocoa. There is some astringency in the finish, but rather than being dry or tangy, I am finding it to be somewhat starchy. This starchy dryness accentuates the cocoa taste. This starchiness also highlights some of the sweet potato taste that is also mentioned in the description.
I infused these leaves twice and they produced two delightful yet different cups. The second infusion was a bit thinner in texture than the first, and it possessed a more subdued flavor. I notice a little less of the cocoa note but there is a delightful spice-like tone in the distance with this infusion. It was delicious and certainly well worth the effort to infuse this one twice.