Ok, so there's that.
What does the above photograph tell me about this tea? As far as I know nothing, but it was chosen with intention, I assume, to be the cover sticker of the sample of Van Dyke I just drank 6 steeps of.
Why does the sign say 'coffee' in the photo? Who is Van Dyke again? Surely, not referring to Dick or the dude who played on 'Coach'? Perhaps Willard Van Dyke? Hmmm...
|(Prepping the gaiwan with hot water)|
|(Waking up the dry leaves in the hot gaiwan, a little shake to get them ready!)|
|(Gorgeous after steep one)|
So Van Dyke is a nice quality black tea with good looking long light-rolled leaves with wonderful aroma, and pieces of hops and juniper berries. Our experience with it was not in line with what it says on the webpage description, but it was better.
The scent out of the bag was great, reminded this ex-gin drinker why I loved Juniper berries and gave me hopes that I could rekindle that relationship without using booze. The hops looked like small green fairy wings, so the presentation was a lot of fun, and the smell was the best part of that.
I used four grams only in a 120 ml gaiwan. The water temp started out at 204f. The smell of the leaves, still dry, getting steamed a bit in the pre-heated gaiwan was a smile-bringer to both Larry and myself. Smelling the leaves scent on the bottom of the gaiwan lid and in the cup were beyond delicious. We drank the rinse, it was lovely.
Van Dyke is something new, something special, at least for this newb, goodness knows I have never had anything like it, and I will start to once again clear the hurtles I might have been putting up in my mind against blends based solely on this terrifically positive session. Deep back-breaking bows of gratitude to Soleil Tea for 'taking me there'. It's always good to go!