3 Tasting Notes
Stale and sour. Can’t give a better description because after two sips I threw it out. If you like black tea their Golden Monkey would be a far better choice…albeit at over twice the price…but worth it! Not my cup so I’m not going to give it a number. I have the rest of this 1/4 lb and 1/4 lb Dragon Eyes which I find tastes the same. If anyone wants either of these send me a pm or email and I will ship them to you for free. If no one wants them I’ll dispose of them in my garden like I do with my spent tea leaves.
Chewing on a couple dry strands reveals a dusty (sawdust like) crunchy, mellow taste with the slightest hint of bitterness. The cup that follows is similar in taste. This batch had many more golden buds and was much more dusty than my order last March. I’m guessing it was taken from the bottom of the bin while my previous order was probably from the top. I’ve been out of this tea for a couple weeks and the first sip is like sitting down with an old friend. The cup is mellow and smooth with a nice chocolaty flavor that resides on the pallet for some time afterwards. Brewing the cup for 4 min 15 seconds is my preferred length of time. It results in a chocolaty and malty cup with a texture that coats the tongue. I find 4 minutes results in a slight numbing of the tongue (not unlike a sip of coca tea) which steadily fades. That numbness as well as a hint of dried apples is overpowered by a chocolaty, almost coffee like flavor when steeped for 4 min 30 seconds or more. The longer steep also results in a hint of bitterness that isn’t present when steeped for a shorter amount of time. The tea feels strong in both caffeine and theanine. This along with Silk’s White Peony I prefer to keep continuously stocked. These two along with Mi Xian Black and Caramel Assam by Butiki are by far the best teas to dance with these taste receptors. My first order of a few pounds came with a free gaiwan and a few tasting cups. This act of kindness has resulted in me becoming a life-long customer. With a tea like GM (Jin Hou) it makes that easy. By far, one of the best teas from Silk I’ve had the pleasure of tasting and one I could easily drink for life.
Sipped while piping hot and my initial thought was “this is plain, I should have let it steep longer than the recommended 3.5 min”. I have been drinking the golden monkey from silk road which has a strong chocolaty flavor and almost coffee like when steeped for 4.5 minutes. My intention was not to compare them but sometimes our neurons transmit prejudices that we don’t always immediately recognize. After cooling a couple minutes the second sip had me thinking peaches, or maybe apricots. After 30 seconds I thought, wow, there is a nice brown sugary, almost marshmallow cream taste coating my bottom gum line. Am I tasting a caramel apple? No – too thin, more like an apple that has been cored out, filled with brown sugar and baked in the oven. Continuing to sip it seemed the tea had coated with demerara sugar. Wait…no, it’s sap that is lingering. Almost like it’s been dusted with maple sugar. After finishing it I couldn’t help wanting another cup, more so than any other tea I’ve tried. Will try steep a bit longer next time to see if it fills in the background a little bit. Feels like the caffeine/theanine content is low but balanced. I may try to re-steep this tea and put the resulting tea with a bit of lemon in the fridge to cool and drink at work. I got this in the leafhopper sampler and after one cup am ready to order a bunch more. I can see why this sells out. Overall a fantastic and unique tea with a sweetness that lingers long after the cup is empty.