78

This was one of my more recent sipdowns. I purchased a 100g pouch of this tea when it was first listed back in the spring of 2018 and ended up storing it until I worked through many of the older teas I had. I finally got around to trying it a couple weeks ago and spent the better part of four or five days working my way through all of it. It had held up well in storage and struck me as an enjoyable enough Yunnan black tea, but I’ve had better. It seems that I always end up feeling this way about teas like this one.

I opted to prepare this tea gongfu style. After quickly rinsing 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water, I started the session off with a 5 second infusion. This infusion was followed by 18 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, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of malt, raisin, dark chocolate, sugarcane, prune, cedar, and cinnamon that were underscored by a subtle scent of leather. After the rinse, I detected new roasted peanut and cooked green bean aromas. The first infusion brought out a baked bread aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor expressed notes of malt, earth, baked bread, cream, cooked green beans, and dark chocolate that were balanced by subtler notes of cinnamon, roasted almond, roasted peanut, caramel, and raisin. The bulk of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of earth, smoke, orange zest, marshmallow, roasted almond, and sweet potato. Stronger and more immediately apparent impressions of roasted almond, roasted peanut, caramel, and raisin expressed themselves in the mouth alongside notes of minerals, vanilla, sweet potato, sugarcane, marshmallow, and orange zest. I also detected hints of leather, cedar, smoke, prune, grass, honey, pear, and apple. Towards the end of the session, the tea liquor softened and settled, emphasizing lingering impressions of minerals, earth, malt, marshmallow, caramel, orange zest, and cooked green beans that were chased by fleeting hints of raisin, sugarcane, honey, grass, roasted almond, dark chocolate, vanilla, and baked bread.

This was not a bad Yunnan black tea overall, but I also felt that it was not particularly memorable or unique. I have tried numerous teas that were very similar to this one, so I was hoping for at least one enjoyable trait that would stand out enough to set this tea apart. Unfortunately, I failed to find that trait. This was an enjoyable Yunnan black tea, one that had more than enough depth and complexity to be satisfying, but it did not strike me as being anything truly special.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Baked Bread, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Leather, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Prune, Raisins, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Togo

What I find special about this tea is how solid it is given the price it sells for ;)

tea-sipper

whoa, 100 grams of the same tea in 4-5 days is an accomplishment!

eastkyteaguy

Togo, you’re right. This tea is quite solid for the price. It’s a great deal. I kept that in mind when scoring it. That’s why I placed it at the high end of what I consider the good range, just a couple steps below the cutoff for what I consider to be a very good score. Honestly, my main gripe with this tea was that I thought it was a noticeable step down in quality from the 2017 Yunnan Black Gold that I drank and reviewed early last year. Both were good teas, but I thought the 2017 offering had more of an edge and a little more fullness in the mouth that made it more memorable and appealing to me.

eastkyteaguy

tea-sipper, yeah, I burned through this one. I have a habit of only opening and drinking one pouch or container of tea at a time. At the time I was working my way through this tea, I was basically using it to help power me through some very long work days and a couple nights where I was sick and/or couldn’t sleep. I’ve dealt with recurring bouts of insomnia for years now. On nights I can’t sleep or can’t stay asleep, I’ll get up and drink tea so that I can power through the morning to avoid totally crashing in the middle of the day.

tea-sipper

I wish you better sleep then!

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Comments

Togo

What I find special about this tea is how solid it is given the price it sells for ;)

tea-sipper

whoa, 100 grams of the same tea in 4-5 days is an accomplishment!

eastkyteaguy

Togo, you’re right. This tea is quite solid for the price. It’s a great deal. I kept that in mind when scoring it. That’s why I placed it at the high end of what I consider the good range, just a couple steps below the cutoff for what I consider to be a very good score. Honestly, my main gripe with this tea was that I thought it was a noticeable step down in quality from the 2017 Yunnan Black Gold that I drank and reviewed early last year. Both were good teas, but I thought the 2017 offering had more of an edge and a little more fullness in the mouth that made it more memorable and appealing to me.

eastkyteaguy

tea-sipper, yeah, I burned through this one. I have a habit of only opening and drinking one pouch or container of tea at a time. At the time I was working my way through this tea, I was basically using it to help power me through some very long work days and a couple nights where I was sick and/or couldn’t sleep. I’ve dealt with recurring bouts of insomnia for years now. On nights I can’t sleep or can’t stay asleep, I’ll get up and drink tea so that I can power through the morning to avoid totally crashing in the middle of the day.

tea-sipper

I wish you better sleep then!

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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