This was my first sipdown of the month as I finished a mini-sample of this tea on the very first day of the month. I received the sample as a freebie with a more recent What-Cha order. As those of you who read my reviews are well aware, I am a huge, huge fan of Wuyi black teas. If I have one complaint about this specific style of tea (lapsang souchong/Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong), however, it is that teas of this type can often get a bit astringent. I did not have that complaint with this particular tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 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 emitted aromas of honey, cinnamon, roasted almond, mandarin orange, and peach. After the rinse, I found hints of baked bread, roasted peanut, and straw on the nose. The first infusion introduced floral scents reminiscent of rose and violet. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of mandarin orange, baked bread, honey, roasted almond, and roasted peanut that were underscored by hints of straw. The subsequent infusions saw aromas of cream, lemon, malt, chocolate, brown sugar, and sweet potato emerge. Impressions of rose and violet appeared in the mouth along with subtle hints of cinnamon and peach. New notes of minerals, chocolate, brown sugar, cream, butter, malt, sweet potato, pine, and lemon also emerged. The final few infusions offered lingering mineral, malt, cream, and roasted almond notes that were balanced by hints of lemon, mandarin orange, sweet potato, and brown sugar.
This was an excellent Wuyi black tea, one that should satisfy even the most demanding fans of such teas. As mentioned earlier, I especially appreciated the fact that this tea never turned astringent. If you are looking for a quality unsmoked Wuyi black tea, be sure to check out this one.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Honey, Lemon, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Peanut, Pine, Rose, Straw, Sweet Potatoes, Violet