Time to make another effort to reduce the number of backlogged reviews. I polished off a one ounce pouch of this tea a couple weeks ago. I found it to be a very respectable, approachable Yunnan black tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose leaf material in 4 ounces of 200 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 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, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of honey, cedar, and citrus. After the rinse, I discovered new scents of roasted nuts, wood, cream, and malt. The first proper infusion brought out touches of spice and pine. In the mouth, I found notes of citrus, malt, cream, wood, roasted chestnut, and honey with slight undertones of smoke and chocolate before a mostly nutty, malty finish. Subsequent infusions brought out the cedar and pine in the mouth, as well as clear touches of orange zest and stronger smoke and chocolate flavors. I also began to pick up notes of caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, dates, bread, minerals, and red apple. The later infusions offered fleeting impressions of bread, malt, and minerals with hints of roasted chestnut and orange zest. There was a brief hit of brown sugar sweetness that lingered on the tongue after the swallow.
For the price, this was a rock solid Yunnan black tea. Though it was not quite as smooth or as sophisticated as some others I have tried, for what this was, it was very nice. I didn’t take notes, but I also brewed this as an iced tea and it was good. I definitely think this could make a very good introduction to Yunnan black teas for those who are curious or a reliably good, consistent budget brew for regular consumption.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cedar, Chestnut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Dates, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Pine, Raisins, Red Apple, Smoke, Wood