65

I found this solid. As others have noted, it reminded me of a very nice breakfast-style black tea with plenty of body and flavor, but not much variety or interest.

Western (4g/250ml, 95 C)
Dry leaf is sweet & malty, but otherwise “normal” black tea aroma. Appearance of leaves worries me a bit – smaller/broken pieces of leaf, kind of chewed up. Aroma of wet leaves a bit more brisk, a little Raisin Bran, but faint. First steep 3 min – dark red liquor, pleasant sweet aroma. Flavor is good, fairly balanced, enough bitterness for brisk finish, could definitely stand up to milk. Overall pretty one-note. Second steep 5 min – wet leaves are more earthy now, with aromatic woodsiness – close to cedar, though not quite that strong. Tastes about the same, but maybe a bit more tannin, a bit less smooth, but not unpleasant. Third steep 7 min – maybe a touch of cocoa powder, otherwise about same. Final/fourth steep at boiling – no real change, just a little weaker.

Cold brew (1g/100ml) is solid, if unexceptional – good body (not too thin), balanced flavors of a little sweet, a little malty, a little bitter, but none stands out or overpowers. Faint whiffs of coffee & cocoa powder. Pleasant, lightly sweet aftertaste.

I’m wary of trying gongfu with the broken leaf of this tea, but I’ll update if I decide to give it a go.

eastkyteaguy

This is one of those teas that seems to be hit or miss for a lot of people. I loved it, but then again, I am a huge fan of malty, woodsy black teas like this and enjoy a lot of the higher end Vietnamese teas in general. I also think this is one that you have to gongfu in order to fully appreciate. If you insist on brewing it Western, I found that a longer initial infusion (like 4-5 minutes) was the way to go.

Girl Meets Gaiwan

Good to know, thanks! It was only a 10g sample, so I have just enough left for one more preparation. I’ll probably give gongfu a chance, then.

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eastkyteaguy

This is one of those teas that seems to be hit or miss for a lot of people. I loved it, but then again, I am a huge fan of malty, woodsy black teas like this and enjoy a lot of the higher end Vietnamese teas in general. I also think this is one that you have to gongfu in order to fully appreciate. If you insist on brewing it Western, I found that a longer initial infusion (like 4-5 minutes) was the way to go.

Girl Meets Gaiwan

Good to know, thanks! It was only a 10g sample, so I have just enough left for one more preparation. I’ll probably give gongfu a chance, then.

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Learning to brew gongfu style in my first gaiwan made me aware that not only is there an amazing array of teas out there to try, but each tea has the potential to have a great variety of flavors revealed by different preparations.

I’m still figuring out what works for me as far as tasting notes/ratings, but whenever possible, I like to brew each tea I try a few ways: gongfu, western, cold brewed/iced. I’ve enjoyed seeing how these treatments change any given tea, especially since some teas may fall flat in one preparation but improve or shine in others.

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