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From West China Tea Company

Rum Raisin (鳳凰紅茶, Fèng Huáng Hóng Chá, “Phoenix Red Tea”) – An exquisite red tea made from a blend of oolong breeds from the Phoenix Mountains. These distinctive oolong breeds are normally kept separate and used to make dān cōng 單樅 (“single bush”) oolong where each variety is a distinct genotype. By blending the late-spring harvested leaves of several different varietals and oxidizing them fully, Chao-An based tea farmer and tea master Lin Yaobin produces what the Chinese call hóng chá 紅茶 (“red tea”), known in the West as “black tea.”

Rum Raisin is the later-Spring harvest of the varieties that make up Black Phoenix. Traditionally considered a lower-grade, Rum Raisin has similar notes as Black Phoenix, but a maltier and more robust flavor, not unlike the darker and less expensive B-grade of maple syrup. The lychee notes of Black Phoenix are transformed in the later Spring to a sweet, rich, fig cake nose.

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I got a new gaiwan as a birthday present to myself!! The colours and textures in this gaiwan are frankly insane – it’s truly a piece of art! I definitely used this past birthday as an excuse to order a lot of tea and teaware I’d been eyeing up – but I could afford it and I was feeling sad about not being able to do anything for my birthday because of the pandemic, so the retail therapy helped…

This is the tea that I broke the gaiwan in with and it was lovely. It’s so syrupy in mouthfeel and it tastes heavily of brandied fruits, plummy stonefruit, red currant and raisins with these taunting hints of chocolate, leather, and peanut brittle in the undertones!! Just an exciting and sweet explosion of flavours – a really great way to spend the afternoon. I think I got around six infusions out of it, which I thought was pretty good for a black tea. I see the name inspiration as well – definitely makes sense with those boozier fruity notes.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMXzWOBASB2/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJr40dkVMs&abchannel=mariolinan

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