Here is yet another tea review from the backlog. I cannot remember exactly when I finished the one ounce pouch of this tea that I bought back in the summer of 2016. I’m guessing I went through it either at the end of May or start of June. Surprisingly, this tea had mellowed without losing much of its complexity. I found it to be a very nice black tea that was quite similar to many of the Yunnan black teas I have tried over the years.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves offered aromas of brown toast, malt, honey, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I picked up aromas of butter and cream. The first infusion then brought out an aroma of brown sugar. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented mild notes of brown toast, malt, honey, butter, cream, and sweet potato that were balanced by notes of brown sugar and molasses toward the finish. Subsequent infusions saw molasses emerge on the nose alongside some subtle scents of cocoa and citrus. Stronger molasses notes appeared in the mouth on these infusions as did new notes of orange zest, cocoa, smoke, minerals, and roasted walnut. A rather subtle camphor impression also became notable on the swallow. The final infusions offered impressions of minerals, malt, butter, cocoa, and molasses that were backed by orange zest and sweet potato hints and a slightly heavier camphor presence.
Compared to a typical Yunnan hong cha, this Guangxi hong cha was a much more mellow and much smoother tea. I have been meaning to investigate some of the black and green teas produced in Guangxi for at least a couple of years now, but just have not gotten the time. This tea made me want to resume that investigation, but I have no clue when I will get around to it. I definitely need to try a more recent harvest of this tea at the very least. If you are a fan of the Yunnan hong cha flavor profile, I am willing to bet that you would enjoy this tea. At least consider giving it a shot if you are a fan of Yunnan black teas.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Butter, Camphor, Cocoa, Cream, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut