All right, first off: I do not really recommend brewing this in the Bodum Assam Tea Press. There are some finer bits in the blend, which rise up and easily fit through the filter and sit in the bottom of the pot, which was fine until I poured it into my cup and then had bits of tea in my cup. That doesn’t really bother me, but it might bother some. Or I suppose you could run it through an extra filter as you pour? I don’t know.
Anyway, tea blend: Natasha Romanoff. Here is the official description on Adagio:
CREATED BY: CARA MCGEE
A worldly blend, based off of Russian tea culture. A strong, smokey tea perfect for a busy spy.
Based on characters owned by Marvel/Disney. This tea blend is created purely for my own enjoyment.
The scent is almost insidious. With the lapsang souchong and assam melody, I thought it would hit me harder, be more in my face proclaiming its strength like the Sherlock or Tony Stark blends, but it does not. Instead, while strong, it sort of infiltrates the olfactory senses, the slight astringency belying the depth of its smokiness. Is it the currant blend that does it? I am not sure.
Amusingly, there are raspberry leaves in the currant mix, and I can only hope not too many. Amusing, I say, because I am actually allergic to raspberries. We’ll see how it goes.
I brewed it at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for four minutes. I joke in the photo below about the tea being the same color as Natasha’s hair – trick of the light coming in from the back of the pot. Don’t wait for the tea to become that color; it will not happen. It’ll turn more like a nice, deep shade of russet. Plain, the blend is smooth and strong. The intensity of the flavor mellows with time in the cup. The smokiness is not harsh at all, as it can sometimes be a bit overpowering in other lapsang blends (Sherlock, I’m looking at you, though I will admit it could also be my fault in over-steeping – I am bad about that.)
I don’t even mind when the tea gets cold in my cup, as it invariably does when I get distracted working. The flavors blend even more, cool and distinctive. Just like its namesake, for the strength of this blend, the fact that it leaves hardly any trace (in terms of aftertaste) is impressive.
I gave this blend 4 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.