Ah, tournament time! Today and tomorrow is CEO, one of the big tournaments in the FGC and the last big one before Evo. Currently I am enjoying the finals for Killer Instinct, a game where I occasionally play a Raptor. Killer Instinct was a game I really disliked when I was younger, but the remake has really earned my respect, and not just because it is the first fighting game I have played in a while where my hands don't lock up with tendon cramps. Not sure if they just got better or what, but it makes me happy.
Today I am looking at Liquid Proust's A Dark Kitchen Sink, a blend of: golden pu’erh needles, loose ripe pu’erh, dianhong black tea, sunmoon lake black tea, vanilla bean (with flavor residue),roasted oolong, roasted pecans (unsalted), caramel (cane sugar, vanilla extract), cocoa nibs, Indian oolong ,honeybush (very very small amount)...it really is everything but the kitchen sink! The aroma of this tea is, to use fighting game slang, godlike. It smells like pecan pie, fudge, and a tiny bit of earthy loam. It is immensely sweet, caramel and chocolate dance with vanilla. and blissfully it is sweet but not grossly so thanks in part to the loamy notes and nuttiness. I might have drooled just a little, or a lot...either way, it smells really good.
I decided to gongfu it, the tea might be a blend, but it has tea that I frequently gongfu, so why not? I am almost at a loss for words describing this tea's aroma once steeped. The notes are as expected, strong vanilla, caramel, pecan pie, fudge, loam, and malt...but trying to convey how mouthwatering sweet and rich it is, that is a challenge. The aroma of the liquid is also pretty intensely sweet, strong notes of vanilla and fudge with underlying pecan pie and loam. Super sweet and rich!
So, this is possibly the best blend I have had....ever. Seriously. It is dessert in a cup, like liquid Better Than Sex cake (making me calling it orgasmic not really an exaggeration) bringing in notes of fudge, vanilla, caramel, pecans, toffee, and a finish of earthiness and marshmallows...this is an intense tea. It hits all the right notes for me, it is immensely sweet and rich without being cloying, smooth as all get out, and just wow. Ben, being more diplomatic and not wanting to say it is orgasmic, says it is an epiphany in a cup.
You know, one of the things I love about being a person who has a sensory disorder, is how my strongest sensory input comes in the form of taste and smell...it is why I do what I do...sometimes I get overwhelmed by a taste or smell, it washes over me and drags me under, much like the undertow of an ocean wave. I don't necissarily like the intensity of some of my other senses (looking at you sound and frequently touch) but I would not trade my sense of taste and smell for the world, especially when presented with teas like this! The second steep is pretty identical flavor wise, no real change in notes (except...I think the marshmallow finish turned into meringue) but the taste has become more intense.
Around steep three the rich fudge and vanilla notes, while still intense, are mellowing a bit, especially the vanilla. Now I get cherry notes (probably from one of the Hongchas) yams, still very rich nuttiness, and a richer loam note. Towards the finish I get a bit of molasses toffee and pie crust, with lingering sweetness. I got four good steeps out of this tea, and two moderately good steeps as I try to drag any bit of flavor I could from this...and then I needed to buy myself a pouch because delicious. Honestly, Andrew, this was one powerful concoction, bravo!
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.