This was another of my June sipdowns. I’m generally a huge fan of the Assam black teas sourced by What-Cha, but this one did not do as much for me. It was far from a bad tea, but I found it to be temperamental and a bit challenging, which, to be blunt, are qualities I do not look for in Assam teas.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. For my review session, I did not rinse the leaves, and I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of malt, baked bread, honey, sweet potato, and pine. After infusion, I detected aromas of molasses, caramel, cream, green bell pepper, tomato, blackberry, and wintergreen as well as some subtle scents of prune. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, cream, baked bread, honey, sweet potato, caramel, molasses, blackberry, chocolate, orange zest, blueberry, pine, roasted almond, tomato, wintergreen, roasted walnut, and kumquat that were underscored by hints of grass, green bell pepper, minerals, black cherry, black pepper, anise, cinnamon, and prune prior to an astringent finish.
This tea had a ton to offer, but it also presented a very challenging drinking experience. The liquor was very brisk and astringent, sometimes a little much so for my tastes, and some of the more unique and appealing flavor components had a tendency of getting buried amidst the wash of more typical Assam flavors. As mentioned earlier, I also experienced some difficulty dialing this tea in, as I found it to be very sensitive and easy to oversteep. Truthfully, I am still not certain that I was able to find ideal brewing parameters for it. Overall, though, this tea was a mixed bag. There was a lot to like about it, but it most certainly had its flaws. Thankfully, there was more to like than dislike about what it had to offer.
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Astringent, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Blackberry, Blueberry, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Dried Fruit, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Pine, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetal, Walnut