90

Here is another black tea review. I figured I might as well post another before calling it a day. If I manage to make it back on here to post any other reviews before the end of the month, I’ll try to mix it up a little as I don’t want to ignore a couple of the oolong reviews I have remaining in my notebook. This was one of my more recent sipdowns. I think I finished the last of this tea sometime around the middle of last week. Overall, it was a very nice Yunnan black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 subsequent 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, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds produced aromas of chocolate, marshmallow, malt, pine, and cinnamon. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of sugarcane, roasted peanut, plum, and honey. The first infusion introduced aromas of vanilla, maple candy, and baked bread. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of chocolate, marshmallow, malt, cinnamon, pine, plum, and sugarcane that were backed by hints of vanilla, roasted peanut, baked bread, honey, and maple candy. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of cream, earth, cooked green beans, butter, camphor, and eucalyptus. New notes of cream, butter, earth, grass, cooked green beans, sweet potato, caramel, minerals, orange zest, and toast appeared in the mouth along with stronger and more prominent vanilla and maple candy notes and hints of eucalyptus and camphor. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to offer notes of minerals, cream, vanilla, malt, earth, chocolate, marshmallow, and toast that were chased by hints of pine, roasted peanut, camphor, sweet potato, butter, and sugarcane.

As Yunnan black teas go, I found this one to be very sophisticated. It was also frequently much subtler than one would expect. I particularly appreciated that its bouquet did not always emphasize some of the more typical Yunnan black tea aromas. Also, what it expressed on the nose was reminiscent of but also not always wholly identical to what came out in the mouth, and this tendency made this tea a rather interesting drinking experience. In the end, this was an intriguing, refined, and highly enjoyable Yunnan black tea. Fans of such teas would likely get a pretty big kick out of it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Camphor, Candy, Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Maple, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Plums, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Vanilla

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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KY

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