I should have added this one for when it was on the website. I swear I wrote about it before. Anyway, I got it for the novelty of being from KunLu, and because it was a really nice and mega fuzzy black tea. It looks very similar to Verdant’s Golden Fleece, and it partially compares.
The dry leaf aroma is powdered, and soft. Sweet potato instantly came to mind along with a dusting of cocoa powder, but there was something a little bit floral to it as well. There was also a little bit of a dryness to it that was pleasant in smell.
I’ve brewed it western and gong fu, and it took me a bit to find a ratio I liked. It’s a very flexible tea that never becomes bold or astringent, but the flavors can be muddied or drying if it is over leafed or over steeped for long periods of time. I found that a medium gong fu session with 15-20 sec increments worked best for me at 5 grams in around 6 oz of water. Going too light makes the tea faint, but I at least caught some malty tones with a bit of a popping peanut nuttiness and chrysanthemum sweetness.
I know that chrysanthemum is a bit of a weird comparison, but it has the same sweet-dry profile that flower does no matter how I brew it. It borders on honey, but it is not honey like or close to honey suckle. Either way, it combines with the peanut, sweet potato and malt tones nicely and contrasts its dry leather mouthfeel…if leather ever had a mouthfeel, or you’ve had the pleasure to bite down a piece of leather in the middle of something excruciating like child birth. I can’t say I’ve experienced or will ever experience the latter, but I’ve bitten on leather for sheer curiosity. Back to the tea, it compliments the flavor imagined or real.
I do get cocoa flavors like raw cocoa nibs. They are noticeable, but not obvious and can be in the background like hints, but always transition mid sip to the end. It’s a good contrast to everything else. They get more prominent in the later steeps, and become very smooth at re-brew 6.
This tea is a very smooth one overall, and although it’s durable, it does not have too much stamina, unless you like your teas on the lighter end. It will yield to cup 8 if I push it, but it becomes vaguely sweet chrysanthemum sweet potato water at the end.
I also used to think this was a straightforward tea, but with the hints that I’ve gotten, I think it’s safe to say it does have some complexity. Every once in a while, there was an odd fruitiness in the background that I could not put my finger on. I’m not sure if someone else would taste it, so I won’t add that descriptor quite yet.
I personally have not drank this too often because it is a little bit too mellow even for me, but it is nice to have on a slow morning. If he had more left over, I’d certainly recommend it for people more used to white tea drinkers, or those looking to have golden tea from the origin area of the iron fist.
Flavors: Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Malt, Peanut, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes