I thought I had a note for this one. Anyway, I’ve been saving it for when the moment strikes me since it is a VERY good tea. I had a little bit when I first bought it, and it does incredibly well gong fu or western. I can’t remember everything about the first time I’ve had it other than its general profile. The notes were a little bit closer to an Bai Hao than other Himalyan based black teas I’ve had, but it is very muscatel, juicy, and floral the way I like it. I prefer lighter blacks and muscatels anyway…I’m a snob.
Moving on to tonight’s session, the dryleaf has a nice aromatic that sneaks up a few seconds after you open the bag, then nuts, orange blossom, hibiscus, cocoa, earth, dried leaves (NO DUH), and something else wafts through the air. Orange blossom, red grape, muscat,and autumn leaves come to mind amidst its viscous mouthfeel, although the tea is oddly refreshing right now. Woodsiness starts to come through as it cools.
I admit that I upped the leafage to just over 5 grams for 8 ounces, and I didn’t count the steep time. I would guestimate under a minute, probably 30-45 seconds. The water was 180 F. I did 40 seconds the 2nd steep. More wood and muscat, a little bit of something that reminds me of red and orange flowers. The texture is still mouth coating and oddly thirst quenching. Dryness rises a little bit at the back of my tongue a little, but its sweet and very pleasant. It’s the woodsy note I was talking about.
Steep three…. I did not keep track of how long I brewed it. My cuppa was excellent nevertheless. The same notes popped up with a bit more mouthfeel. It began with dryness at my teeth, juiciness at the tongue, and a little bit more floral dryness at the throat. Eastteaguy will no doubt describe the florals and dryer notes more profoundly. I can’t wait to seem him write about it. The longer brew reminded me it was indeed a black tea, but it’s still closer to an oolong to me personally.
I know I can get more cups out of this session. 5 was the highest number I got last time western, 7 gong fu. We’ll see.
I’ll write again later. Although I have the Vietnam version of a Bai Hao, this one serves that craving more despite being a black tea. It is comparable to the best 2nd flush Darjeelings I’ve had, but then again, I actually like Nepalese teas more, especially Jun Chiyabari. Too bad it’s sold out.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Flowers, Grapes, Honey, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peach, Sweet, Wood