China Guizhou 'Cat Cave' Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Apricot, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Drying, Malt, Orange, Plums, Stonefruits, Tannin, Vegetal, Wood, Citrusy, Forest Floor, Honey, Molasses, Walnut, Wet Wood, Cherry, Fruity, Pastries, Pear, Raisins, Red Fruits, Vegetables, Blackberry, Blueberry, Butter, Carrot, Cream, Floral, Grain, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nutty, Pecan, Potato, Rose, Tangy, Tobacco, Vegetable Broth, Wet wood
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec 4 g 4 oz / 132 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I almost bought this tea when I was placing my most recent What-Cha order, so I was happy to see it included as a free sample. Guizhou is a region I haven’t come across often in my extensive online...” Read full tasting note
    87
  • “I broke my gaiwan lid. Myself. Sad. But it chipped quite clearly (smoothly, dunno correct word). Hopefully I can fix it. Somehow. Used 3 grams for my 85 ml gaiwan. Maybe bit weak. But it is almost...” Read full tasting note
    89
  • “This is the second tea I’ve had from China’s Guizhou province, a seemingly underrepresented province in the western-facing tea world. The other Guizhou tea I’ve had was a lovely yellow tea that is...” Read full tasting note
    93

From What-Cha

A light black tea with smooth notes of citrus fruits which linger in the mouth and none of the usual malt tones.

The tea has been given the unusual name of ‘Cat Cave’ as the local area called MaoDong where it is produced, roughly translates to Cat Cave!

Tasting Notes:
- Zesty aroma
- Smooth texture
- Very light for a black with smooth citrus notes

Harvest: Summer, June 2018

Origin: Maodong, Guizhou, China
Organic: Certified organic

Cultivar: FuDing XiaoBai

Sourced: Direct from a local tea factory in Maodong

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 95°C/203°F
- Use 1-2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 3-4 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

Company description not available.

5 Tasting Notes

87
170 tasting notes

I almost bought this tea when I was placing my most recent What-Cha order, so I was happy to see it included as a free sample. Guizhou is a region I haven’t come across often in my extensive online window shopping; in fact, I think only What-Cha and maybe Camellia Sinensis stock teas from this terroir. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 200F for 7, 10, 12, 16, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of brown sugar, stewed plums, and wood. The first steep is sticky and sweet with notes of plum, citrus, apricot, brown sugar, tannin, wood, and a bit of malt. It’s a mild tea that nonetheless has a tannic bite. The citrus (candied orange) and stonefruit (nectarine?) get more prominent in the next couple steeps, as does the brown sugar. The fourth steep tastes faintly of stewed greens and is pretty drying, though it still has nice apricot and plum notes. Though the fruity notes persist over the next few rounds, malt, cooked greens, tannins, and wood come to the forefront.

If I had to rate this tea on the first five or so steeps, it would be in the nineties, but the increasing dryness and tannins in the later part of the session lose it some marks. Still, there’s a lot to like, especially if you enjoy citrus and stonefruit, which I very much do.

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Drying, Malt, Orange, Plums, Stonefruits, Tannin, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
derk

I bought more to have as a better than average daily drinker. Couldn’t help it for the price.

Leafhopper

I was thinking about doing the same thing if it’s still in stock when I make my next order. I imagine it would do well Western style, too.

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89
300 tasting notes

I broke my gaiwan lid. Myself. Sad. But it chipped quite clearly (smoothly, dunno correct word). Hopefully I can fix it. Somehow.

Used 3 grams for my 85 ml gaiwan. Maybe bit weak. But it is almost 9 pm.
First steep 15 seconds long pours dark bronze, clear and wonderful. I notice something like forest honey. Bit of malt. Bit citrusy? Wet wood? Walnut? (trying to smell what derk noticed)
I think bit of everything is there.
Oh, taste! This is unexpected like mollasses (never had it). But it is sweet and sticky. Maybe bit malty.

2nd is bit longer (+5 seconds max)
Citrusy notes are bit stronger.

3rd…
long, I forgot about it a bit.
Bit bitter, but citrusy!

Good tea! Thank you derk!

Flavors: Citrusy, Forest Floor, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Walnut, Wet Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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93
494 tasting notes

This is the second tea I’ve had from China’s Guizhou province, a seemingly underrepresented province in the western-facing tea world. The other Guizhou tea I’ve had was a lovely yellow tea that is also sold by What-Cha. They also offer a Guizhou green tea called Dew Drops, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while but for some reason I haven’t picked up yet. All three of these teas are certified organic and affordable!

Back to this Cat Cave black tea. June 2018 harvest, full of flavor and aroma for a summer tea. It performs great as a western-steeped wake-up brew and has very good longevity for a hongcha when prepared gongfu. The aromas and tastes offered by this tea are very complex — savory with cooked vegetables, tobacco and grains, fruity with raisins, cherry and berries and tart with a complementary floral rose overlay. Tannins are present in the full body, giving an otherwise smooth tea a light astringent bite but the liquor does not sit too heavy in my stomach. Expansive raisin-apricot-lychee fruity aftertaste that lingers. The tea even presents a delayed strong returning sweetness when prepared gongfu, after which the tea fades away into a nutty, malty and buttery brew with a pronounced lemon and mineral tone. Very caffeinating!

To be honest, I haven’t had much experience with hongcha outside of Fujian or sweet dianhong from Yunnan so this was rather new territory to dive into. I did find this tea to be very well structured and complex, really hitting all the notes I could want from a tea. If you’re looking for a strong, savory breakfast- or lunch-type tea, I’d suggest giving Cat Cave a try especially given its organic certification (by whom, though?) and price point.

Rating range: 86-91
Western: 2 tsp, 205F, 3/5 min
Gongfu: 5g, 100mL, 205F, flash rinse, many shorter steeps starting at 7-10 seconds.

Flavors: Apricot, Blackberry, Blueberry, Butter, Carrot, Cherry, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Mushrooms, Nutty, Pecan, Potato, Raisins, Rose, Tangy, Tannin, Tobacco, Vegetable Broth, Walnut, Wet wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Roswell Strange

Ooh! Sounds really lovely!

Martin Bednář

I must missed it somehow :O

tea-sipper

Ha. I saw this odd Cat Cave tea yesterday and was wondering about it.

derk

Martin, I’ll you send some of this tea and a few others soon for post-exams, when you can spend some time with gongfu sessions ;)

Ros — it’s an interesting tea, for sure. I keep finding new things going on with every gongfu session.

tea-sipper, I think I saw you waffling over ordering one specific tea from What-Cha? If that’s the case, consider adding this one to get closer to free shipping ;) Or if you want, I’d be willing to split a free shipping order since there are a few teas I want to try.

derk

Nerdery: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guizhou

Interesting the province is known for growing tobacco as that is one of the main flavors I picked up on. Perhaps the low price for the tea is because of the high percentage of minority people living there.

derk

Some more nerdery: thanks to What-Cha for listing the cultivar used to produce this tea. The Xiao Bai cultivar, which translates to Small White, is primarily used to make Fujian province gongmei white tea. I haven’t been able to find any information regarding the processing of this cultivar into a black tea.

tea-sipper

Yeah, that was me waffling over ordering a couple What-cha teas. I would love to split an order with you, but Kawaii said she was sending a bit of the Sticky Rice oolong which should tide me over. :D

derk

That’s so nice of Kawaii :) I’m going to wait to place another order until I work through some teas but if you ever want to split, let me know!

LuckyMe

I had the Guizhou green tea and it was really sweet and creamy. I’ll have to check this one out next time I order from What-Cha

derk

I really need to get some of the green dew drops and maybe the yellow again. The yellow was also really sweet and creamy, like peak season raw sweet corn, and tasted so clean.

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