Here is another review from the backlog. I think this one was either from late May or early June. Like many of the other Chinese black teas sourced by What-Cha, this was an extremely likable, high quality offering. I think it compared favorably to similar offerings from other vendors. As a matter of fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that this tea came from the same producer that supplies the golden snail black teas offered by Whispering Pines Tea Company and/or Yunnan Sourcing.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 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 tea buds emitted aromas of chocolate, malt, honey, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of baked bread and molasses. The first infusion brought out a stronger malt aroma with some subtle cream and vanilla accents. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, cream, honey, chocolate, and butter while hints of sweet potato and baked bread lingered in the background. Subsequent infusions saw aromas of butter and pine emerge on the nose. Molasses and vanilla belatedly appeared in the mouth along with new flavors of orange zest, date, minerals, raisin, and pine. I also noted some hints of smoke and brown sugar along with some spicy, herbal impressions reminiscent of a combination of fennel, black pepper, and camphor. The final few infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, cream, butter, malt, and chocolate backed by subtle honey and herbal impressions.
I tend to be a big fan of many Yunnan black teas and strongly believe them to represent some of the best of contemporary Chinese tea craft. That being said, this was a particularly appealing tea with a wonderful texture in the mouth and a complex, harmonious combination of aromas and flavors. Nothing was out of place here, and the tea yielded consistently strong results over the course of a fairly lengthy gongfu session (well, fairly lengthy by my standards anyway). I could see fans of Yunnan black teas being into this one. Give it a shot if you enjoy such teas.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Chocolate, Cream, Dates, Fennel, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla