First tasting of the day, Russian caravan by the tea spot. This one has been a bit of an adventure. First of all the tea is incredibly strong tasting even with very quick steeps, and is very smokey.
I started this by giving it an incredibly quick rinse, since it has pu and oolong and I want to open the leaves up a little. I usually dont wash blacks. The first infusion was about a 5 second flash steep, then using the pour time of the yixing to steep the leaves. I got a dark brown liquor that smelled of smoke, caramel, burnt sugar and wood. A very earthy strong tea.
This is where it gets interesting, the first infusion is heavily influenced by the lapsang souchong, because the pu and oolong havent fully opened up yet, but the black tea is in full party mode already.
The second infusion was probably the best as I got a good mix of all the flavors here, sweetness, earthiness, smoke, wood and a bit of cacao. Slightly darker brown as the oolong and puerh are starting to open up.
On the third infusion the blacks are starting to lose a little ground here and the oolong and puerh are just coming into their own here. The tea gets very dark at this point, as the ripe puerh basically explodes with color, anyone who has ever brewed a ripe knows what I mean. Earth, wood, cacao are really predominant at this point.
The fourth and later infusions started to slightly tone down, the black teas kinda half calling it quits, but the puerh and oolong still chugging along as is the way with both of those tea’s.
Im not 100% sure of this tea, its a powerful morning caffeine kick thats for sure, and the strong flavor will wake you up in a hurry. And the flavor changes more than most over steepings as the different tea’s infuse differently. But sometimes it feels like its slightly working against itself.
I do recommend it, but realize you are in for an unusual ride.
Flavors: Cacao, Caramel, Earth, Oak, Smoke