This was my second sipdown of the month. Starting off a review with such a statement reminds me that I really need to get in the habit of publishing my reviews in order. Sadly, I doubt that will ever happen. Anyway, this was yet another awesome Yunnan black tea from Yunnan Sourcing.

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 chased by 17 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, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of baked bread, earth, malt, sugarcane, honey, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, and caramelized banana. The first infusion produced a stronger sugarcane scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of sugarcane, baked bread, cocoa, cream, malt, and sweet potato that were chased by hints of roasted peanut, pine, and caramelized banana. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of pine, cherry, cocoa, cream, butter, red grape, apple, and minerals. Stronger and more immediate roasted peanut, caramelized banana, and pine notes appeared in the mouth alongside roasted almond and honey notes and hints of earth. New notes of butter, minerals, and cherry also appeared along with hints of apple, red grape, pineapple, and papaya. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, malt, roasted almond, sweet potato, and cream notes that were backed by hints of pine, sugarcane, butter, cocoa, and roasted peanut.

Compared to quite a few other Yunnan black teas currently on the market, this tea was neither all that deep nor tremendously complex, but it did produce a liquor that offered a lovely and harmonious mix of aromas and flavors as well as wonderful texture in the mouth. It was a tremendously drinkable and likable tea overall, one that would likely be perfect as a daily drinker or as an introductory Yunnan black tea. Since it can be difficult to find a tea that is likely capable of satisfying both novices and connoisseurs, I could not help scoring this one so highly.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Baked Bread, banana, Butter, Cherry, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Fruity, Grapes, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Peanut, Pine, Pineapple, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes

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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