2 Tasting Notes
I used the following steeping schedule to produce 6 infusions: 10s rinse, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 1 min.
When dry, the leaves offer the scent of cream with a mild nuttiness. After awakening the leaves (10s rinse), the leaves take on the scent of roasted peanuts and charcoal while remaining reminiscent of coffee grounds.
The first infusion tasted quite vegetal; steamed spinach accented by roasted peanuts. Hints of sweetness could be detected at the finish. The liquor is a clear amber and goes down the throat with ease.
The second and third infusions introduce a mineral note — perhaps granite? There is a bit of astringency felt on the sides of the tongue and the tea takes on a smokier tone.
By the fourth and fifth infusions, the astringency has decreased and given way to notes of buttery sprouts and pomegranate. Roasted peanuts lie heavily in the back of the throat and nasal passages.
The sixth and final infusion gives off a less pronounced nuttiness; a more delicate toasted almond flavor.
I would have preferred that this tea be more dynamic in flavor. Despite being a heavy roast, there was not a large focus on charcoal as a primary note, making the tea more “drinkable.” If you are looking for a strong tasting roasted tea, I would look elsewhere. I think this tea would go well with trail mix during a hike. While not prominent, it did carry a sort of earthiness throughout all infusions.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Char, Coffee, Mineral, Peanut, Smoke, Spinach
For reference, I used the following steep times (gongfu brewing): 10 s wash, 10s, 15s, 20, 30s, 45s, 4-5 one min steeps, and a final 3 min steep.
The dry leaves smell chocolatey and sweet. Once awakened, they take on a malty, yet almost fruity scent that causes some salivation.
The first few infusions are smooth, yet heavy and thick in the throat. The liquor is a deep reddish gold. The tea has structure and body, leading with sweet, honey-like notes that give way to a malty aftertaste.
Towards the final infusions, the heaviness of the tea seems replaced with creamier notes that linger in the back of the throat. The tea is fruitier — perhaps reminiscent of dried cranberries? Some astringency can be tasted. Overall, a stronger tea that can be taken with food as its flavor is not dampened easily.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Cranberry, Fruity, Honey, Malt