This was my most recent sipdown. I stayed up late last night and ended up finishing the last 17-18 grams I had of this tea while listening to cheesy European heavy metal. It was a very pleasant evening. I used to unwind like that a lot more than I do now. Things have been way too hectic on my end the last couple of years. Anyway, this was a very nice Yunnan black tea. The Feng Qing Tea Factory continues to impress me.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 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, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of malt, honey, chocolate, sugarcane, cedar, eucalyptus, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I detected aromas of roasted peanut, fennel, anise, black pepper, and banana as well as subtler scents of roasted almond. The first infusion introduced clove, baked bread, and vanilla aromas. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, cream, chocolate, cedar, black pepper, eucalyptus, clove, fennel, baked bread, sweet potato, and earth that were chased by hints of vanilla, banana, sugarcane, and roasted peanut. After each swallow, I also noted impressions of orange zest and apple lingering in my mouth. The remainder of the infusions introduced aromas of earth, pine, juniper, birch bark, cinnamon, marshmallow, roasted pecan, plum, and apple. Impressions of honey and anise appeared in the mouth alongside hints of roasted almond and slightly stronger notes of sugarcane, orange zest, and vanilla. I also noted impressions of minerals, butter, green beans, pine, juniper, marshmallow, cinnamon, birch bark, roasted cashew, and roasted pecan as well as hints of plum, celery, and leather. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, earth, cream, and orange zest that were underscored by subtle hints of cinnamon, vanilla, clove, black pepper, roasted almond, roasted peanut, and eucalyptus.
This was a very nice Feng Qing Dian Hong with the expected herbal, vegetal, earthy, and spicy characteristics that make Feng Qing black teas so unique. I could also tell that this tea was at a point where it was really coming into its own. I kind of wish I had some of this tea left just so I could attempt to gauge how well it will continue to age, but alas, I had to go and drink all that I had.
Flavors: Almond, Almond, Anise, Anise, Apple, Apple, Baked Bread, Baked Bread, banana, banana, Bark, Bark, Black Pepper, Black Pepper, Butter, Butter, Cedar, Cedar, Celery, Celery, Chocolate, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Clove, Earth, Earth, Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Fennel, Green Beans, Green Beans, Herbaceous, Herbaceous, Honey, Honey, Leather, Leather, Malt, Malt, Marshmallow, Marshmallow, Mineral, Mineral, Nutty, Nutty, Orange Zest, Orange Zest, Peanut, Peanut, Pecan, Pecan, Pine, Pine, Plums, Plums, Sugarcane, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Vanilla