Okay, I guess I’m back on Steepster for now. It seems like I never get time to post any reviews anymore. I’m reaching into the backlog with this one, as this was a tea I finished sometime back around November. I enjoyed this tea greatly, more so than the previous reviewer.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 19 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, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of baked bread, malt, chocolate, and butter as well as a subtle sweet potato scent. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted almond and spearmint that were coupled with a greatly amplified chocolate aroma and a subtle black raspberry scent. The first infusion brought out a roasted peanut scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of baked bread, sweet potato, butter, cream, brown sugar, roasted almond, and malt that were balanced by subtler impressions of chocolate, black raspberry, vanilla, and roasted peanut. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of raisin, oats, brown sugar, vanilla, black cherry, and black currant as well as a somewhat stronger black raspberry aroma and a subtle pine presence. Stronger and more immediately notable impressions of chocolate, vanilla, and black raspberry appeared in the mouth alongside mineral, oat, blackberry, black cherry, gooseberry, black currant, spearmint, and pine notes. I also picked up hints of fig, earth, blueberry, raisin, and honey. As the tea faded, the liquor amplified the raisin and earth notes, though impressions of minerals, baked bread, pine, malt, cream, and butter remained strong. Underlying hints of spearmint, roasted almond, vanilla, honey, black cherry, sweet potato, brown sugar, and chocolate continued to provide some depth, balance, and intrigue.
This was a very nice offering that came off as a refined hybrid of a Taiwanese Assam and a traditional Vietnamese black tea. I could see it pleasing fans of both types of tea. If you are looking for a new and experimental black tea, this would be one well worth trying.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Currant, Blackberry, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cherry, Chocolate, Cream, Earth, Fig, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Peanut, Pine, Raisins, Raspberry, Spearmint, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla