[2016 harvest, third pluck]
This is a sample from the TTB, thanks Skysamurai for including it. I have never considered ordering Korean teas, since they are so expensive. Therefore, I am very happy I could have tried this one.
It is labelled as a red tea (which is why I categorized it as a black tea), although the 2018 harvest seems to be marketed as a yellow tea on the website. I am not sure if the processing changed, but this one is definitely more similar to hongcha than huangcha, as far as I can tell. It brews dark orange liquor and the leaves are almost fully oxidized, there is just a touch of green hue left to them.
The smell is very interesting. It’s a mix of marine, floral and woody (kind of like barrel aged) aromas – quite a unique combination to be honest. Taste is very nice – mineral, sweet and delicate. I get notes of dried fruit, almond, wet rocks and seaweed. The bitterness is somewhat reminiscent of Wuyi oolongs, but here it’s much more in the background, hidden beneath the strong sweetness. In the aftertaste, I get a very prominent chocolate/cocoa bean note followed by slight maltiness. It’s interesting that these typical hong cha notes only emerge now. The body is good too, albeit not too memorable.
Overall, this is a very nice and unique tea, still retaining some complexity and pungency even 2 years after harvest and despite non-ideal storing conditions.
Flavors: Almond, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Malt, Mineral, Oak wood, Seaweed, Sweet, Wet Rocks, Wet Wood