32 Tasting Notes
I liked this more than I expected based on my experience with Adagio’s oolongs. The roast is on the lighter side for a Wuyi, so it’s a little more floral and fruity than I’m used to Wuyi oolongs being. There’s also a sweet cinnamon note and some dark chocolate. I enjoyed this sample, but I wouldn’t buy it because there’s a lot of high quality Wuyi oolong out there for a similar price.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Fruity, Roasted
The leaves have a baked, nutty and woody smell that comes through into the brewed cup. It’s fairly tannic, with a bittersweet chocolate and muscatel finish and moderate level of astringency. This doesn’t taste like first flush Darjeeling.
Not sure what I think of it. It’s quite different from the kind of Darjeeling I’d pick out when reading tasting notes and smelling dry leaves before buying.
Flavors: Chocolate, Herbs, Muscatel, Nuts, Toasty, Wood
Brewed in a gaiwan. Light and sweet with mango and honey notes, mild smokiness, and a hint of spice in the finish, which I always enjoy. Something about it reminded me slightly of rooibos. The last couple infusions were used to brew kombucha, so I don’t know what those tasted like.
Flavors: Honey, Mango, Rooibos, Smoke, Spices
I made some kombucha with this tea and really like how it turned out. It’s bright and light bodied with dominant notes of green apples and cranberries, a hint of raspberry, and an earthy and mildly spiced background. The original flavor of the tea is definitely recognizable, but the fermentation process transformed it into something unique.
Going from a lower end Keemun to this was a pretty drastic change. This is much smoother as well as more subtle, so much so that I hope a 7g sample will be enough for me to understand and appreciate this tea. Through the five or six steeps in my gaiwan, I smelled and tasted honey, grains, sweet potatoes, and a slight tangy fruitiness that most closely resembled plums and possibly cherries. Very mildly smoky; I don’t think that aspect would bother anyone who doesn’t like smoky teas. This is very good, but as someone who’s used to cheaper Keemun with a bolder character, my first impression is “this is Keemun?”.
Flavors: Cherry, Grain, Honey, Plums, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes
For those who don’t know, Kim Tuyen is Jin Xuan. That’s probably why Harney describes it as being like an oolong: it’s a black tea made from a cultivar normally processed as an oolong. This does come through in the taste. Its body has a softness that reminds me of some Taiwanese oolongs even if it lacks the milkiness Jin Xuan oolongs are known for. The floral aroma and light but honey-sweet tropical and stone fruit flavors, too, are quite oolong-like. Yet, despite everything it shares with oolongs, it’s still recognizable as a Chinese-style black tea.
As I hoped, gongfu and western style both work well with this tea. Gongfu brings out the complexities and the aroma of the tea more, while western style is sweet and mellow. Either way is satisfying to me. This is very cheap, so I recommend it for anyone who enjoys mellow Chinese black teas or fruity dark oolongs as this has similarities to both. Avoid if you think of Darjeeling or full leaf Yunnans as too weak or if a bit of smokiness bothers you, because this is light, but also a bit smoky.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Smoke, Stonefruits, Tropical
And now “western” style. It tends toward maltiness, as I expected, plus the sweet potato and cocoa notes. There’s a bit of citrus as well. I didn’t notice that when I brewed it in my gaiwan. This apparently isn’t a very peppery Dianhong: just like when brewed gongfu, the spiciness is hardly there. There’s enough that I like about this tea that I don’t mind that, though.
Flavors: Citrus, Cocoa, Malt, Sweet Potatoes