In many ways, I prefer Yunnan black teas to Darjeelings and Ceylons. Powdery in a good way, they often have that slight bitterness that tames the fruity side of things. I will have to rebrew this more to get a good feel for the tea but off the bat, I am using 3 pearls to 200ml with a 3m steep. Seems low according to the reviews I’m reading here, but it gives me an idea of what a reasonable amount of these will make.
Unfurled the leaves are larger than I expected, with a fair amount of tipps in there, although they took a good 1.5" of stem with that tip too.
The tea has the aroma of dry cocoa powder with hints of vanilla, stone fruit, cherries, caramel 40 (where all my brewers at?!) It has a bit of a bite at the back of the palate, I would call it astringency but it is almost a sour sensation without a sour taste. The body, as I predicted, is relatively light for the amount of tea, but I suppose that may just be the score here. Has that powdery sensation that I love in Yunnans but less than some other more tippy Dian Hong I’ve had.
All in all, this is a pleasant tea, not the best Yunnan I’ve had, but I will have to keep learning these leaves and improve my brew of it. Next time, 5 pearls to 200ml and hopefully I don’t end up jumping off the walls from the caffeine.
2nd occasion to brew these, I went for 6 including a small one or two, in my tea french press, 250ml, 4 minutes, and this was wonderful. MORE is the key to getting your flavor our of this. It has everything I love about Tippy Yunnan/Dian Hong: Creamy, cacao bean, caramel, all without any tanniny bitterness. I got 3 steeps before it started to get watery and gave up. This is a great tea. I didn’t weigh the pearls the 2nd time around, but that would be my only qualm: you would go through them fast.
Flavors: Cacao, Caramel, Cherry Wood, Dates, Roasted Barley, Vanilla