I increasingly find myself being drawn to the teas produced by Feng Qing Tea Factory. Their black teas, in particular, seem to display some unique qualities that I do not always get out of other Yunnan black teas. I know that some people find Feng Qing teas to display floral qualities, but I almost always perceive vibrant vegetal and herbal tones. Now, what does any of this have to do with this particular tea? Well, this tea was a Feng Qing black tea, and given my love of Feng Qing teas, it should not come as a surprise that I ended up loving this one. As a matter of fact, I found it to be a stellar example of a Feng Qing black tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose leaf buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed 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, I detected pleasant aromas of pine, honey, malt, and cocoa coming from the dry leaf buds. After the rinse, I found emerging scents of burnt toast, herbs, and sweet potato. The first infusion then brought out stronger piney and herbal scents. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, pine, burnt toast, honey, cocoa, and sweet potato chased by a subtle herbal note reminiscent of eucalyptus and a slight caramel sweetness. Subsequent infusions saw the nose take on more complex herbal qualities and some spiciness-I detected aromas of black pepper, cedar, juniper, and fennel. There was also an earthiness that emerged on the nose along with some vegetal qualities reminiscent of celery and green beans. In the mouth, notes of earth, camphor, butter, black pepper, minerals, fennel, cream, cedar, nutmeg, celery, cinnamon, green beans, grass, and juniper appeared. The last infusions offered subtle notes of minerals, malt, earth, cocoa, and cream backed by fleeting hints of camphor, fennel, eucalyptus, black pepper, celery, and green beans.
An interesting, satisfying, and extremely complex black tea, this would be the type of black tea to turn to when one is looking for something highly aromatic with loads of flavor. This tea also displayed respectable longevity in the mouth as well as great body and texture. If you are a fan of Yunnan black teas and looking for one that is more challenging and more rewarding than many others, do yourself a favor and give this tea a shot. While you’re at it, try a few other Feng Qing teas too.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Burnt, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Celery, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Grass, Green Beans, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Pine, Sweet Potatoes, Toast