85

Alright, I’m finally back on here. It seems that I have very little motivation to type tea reviews these days. This was one of my sipdowns from the second half of last month. It was a very nice, likable Wuyi black tea, but it did not quite measure up to the spring 2018 Premium AA Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong offered by Yunnan Sourcing.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. I set my water temperature at 194 F and did not raise or lower it over the course of my review session. After briefly rinsing the 6 grams loose tea leaves I had set aside for the session, I started things off by steeping them 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 leaves produced aromas of baked bread, malt, pine, cocoa, and smoke. After the rinse, I detected aromas of brown sugar, roasted almond, roasted peanut, and sweet potato. The first infusion introduced a subtle creamy scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented me with notes of cream, malt, baked bread, pine, cocoa, roasted almond, and roasted peanut that were balanced by hints of plum, smoke, pear, orange zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, and sweet potato. The majority of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cinnamon, orange zest, plum, red apple, pear, marshmallow, lemon zest, minerals, and roasted chestnut. Stronger and more immediately noteworthy impressions of plum, pear, smoke, brown sugar, orange zest, and sweet potato appeared in the mouth alongside notes of red apple, earth, minerals, roasted chestnut, and lemon zest. I also detected hints of lychee, marshmallow, tangerine, butter, red grape, leather, and roasted walnut here and there. As the tea settled and faded, the liquor shifted to emphasize notes of minerals, cream, malt, baked bread, roasted peanut, roasted chestnut, lemon zest, and leather that were balanced by subtler impressions of brown sugar, butter, sweet potato, pine, red grape, orange zest, plum, pear, and roasted almond.

This was a nice Wuyi black tea, but as mentioned in the introductory paragraph, it did suffer a bit in comparison to the Premium AA offering. Still, it had a very respectable mix of aromas and flavors and displayed more than admirable longevity in a lengthy and intense drinking session. Had the tea liquor been just a bit smoother and thicker and had some of the flavor components been just a little more deftly integrated, this would have been a great offering. As is, this tea was very good, but it just lacked those little extra somethings that would have pushed it over the top for me.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Grapes, Leather, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plums, Red Apple, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
LuckyMe

I have this unsmoked Lapsang too and agree that while tasty, it seems to lack a little something. The Teavivre version of this tea though was amazing.

eastkyteaguy

I still have yet to try any of the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong offered by Teavivre. I did, however, try their Tan Yang Gong Fu and Imperial Bai Lin Gongfu earlier in the year and both struck me as being very good. Once I get the backlog a little more under control and get my cupboard a little more cleared out, I will probably place a few small orders from them. I’m hoping I can do this right around the time the spring 2021 teas are being listed.

Leafhopper

LuckyMe, I’m glad to hear that Teavivre’s unsmoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is good. I was going to order it during the Black Friday sale, but was worried I’d have 100 grams of bad tea. I did, however, get their Tan Yang Gong Fu and look forward to trying it.

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LuckyMe

I have this unsmoked Lapsang too and agree that while tasty, it seems to lack a little something. The Teavivre version of this tea though was amazing.

eastkyteaguy

I still have yet to try any of the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong offered by Teavivre. I did, however, try their Tan Yang Gong Fu and Imperial Bai Lin Gongfu earlier in the year and both struck me as being very good. Once I get the backlog a little more under control and get my cupboard a little more cleared out, I will probably place a few small orders from them. I’m hoping I can do this right around the time the spring 2021 teas are being listed.

Leafhopper

LuckyMe, I’m glad to hear that Teavivre’s unsmoked Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong is good. I was going to order it during the Black Friday sale, but was worried I’d have 100 grams of bad tea. I did, however, get their Tan Yang Gong Fu and look forward to trying it.

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Bio

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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