Alright, I’m posting one more review before signing off for the day. Like the last couple I have posted, this one is for another of my recent sipdowns. By the time I got around to trying this tea, I was no stranger to Yunnan purple black teas, but it had been at least a year since I had tried one. Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable, satisfying offering.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick 5 second rinse (I have always preferred shorter rinses for Chinese and Taiwanese black teas for whatever reason), I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. 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, grapefruit, blood orange, cedar, dark chocolate, blackberry, cinnamon, and peach. After the rinse, aromas of red grape, grass, brown sugar, and roasted peanut appeared. The first infusion introduced a roasted almond aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, malt, earth, roasted almond, dark chocolate, red grape, blackberry, and blood orange that were balanced by subtler notes of cinnamon, cooked green beans, brown sugar, baked bread, roasted peanut, and grapefruit. The subsequent infusions quickly brought out aromas of pine, baked bread, lemon, minerals, and camphor. Stronger and more obvious impressions of grapefruit, cooked green beans, baked bread, and brown sugar appeared in the mouth alongside notes of minerals, pine, lemon, pear, red apple, black cherry, and plum. I also detected hints of grass, peach, cedar, camphor, smoke, sugarcane, and maple candy. As the tea faded, the liquor shifted to emphasize notes of minerals, malt, baked bread, roasted almond, brown sugar, and cream that were chased by fleeting impressions of black cherry, blackberry, plum, blood orange, grass, grapefruit, pine, red grape, pear, maple candy, and dark chocolate.
This was a very solid Yunnan purple black tea with a ton to offer. Honestly, its depth and complexity came close to being a little overwhelming at times, but I avoided letting this tea get the better of me. It was also very refined and layered in the way it expressed itself and displayed a playful, energetic presence. In the end, this was a very nice tea, but it was also one that I thought could have been just a bit more focused. I think had some of its subtler flavor components been a bit clearer and more amplified, it would have felt a little more balanced and drinkable than it came off as being.
Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Bread, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Candy, Cedar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Grapefruit, Grapes, Grass, Green Beans, Lemon, Malt, Maple, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plum, Red Apple, Smoke, Sugarcane