This was one of my somewhat more recent sipdowns. I think I finished my pouch of this tea in either June or July. As Yunnan pure bud bi luo chun black teas go, I actually found this one to be pretty boring. It wasn’t unpleasant in any way, but it did not exactly offer anything new or unique either.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 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, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds produced aromas of sweet potato, baked bread, smoke, sorghum molasses, cinnamon, pine, and dark chocolate. After the rinse, I detected aromas of malt, honey, sugarcane, and stewed tomato as well as subtler scents of geranium and eucalyptus. The first infusion introduced aromas of butter and cream as well as a subtle roasted peanut aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, smoke, baked bread, butter, cream, and sweet potato that were balanced by hints of sugarcane, roasted peanut, honey, caramel, cinnamon, and marshmallow. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of marshmallow, black pepper, plum, and orange zest. Pine and dark chocolate notes came out in the mouth alongside hints of eucalyptus, sorghum molasses, geranium, and stewed tomato, and stronger and more immediately evident notes of sugarcane, honey, cinnamon, and marshmallow. I also detected notes of minerals, earth, black pepper, orange zest, and roasted walnut as well as hints of roasted hazelnut, roasted pecan, cooked green beans, and plum. As the tea settled and faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, earth, malt, butter, roasted walnut, and baked bread as well as suddenly amplified impressions of roasted pecan. These flavors were chased by hints of pine, cinnamon, orange zest, dark chocolate, and marshmallow.
This was not a bad Yunnan black tea, but as stated earlier, it did not offer anything new or intriguing. It also did not pull everything together in the mouth as nothing seemed unified. I never felt that all of the flavor components expressed themselves clearly or worked together in harmony. Add in the fact that the tea liquor struck me as being slightly thin and watery, and I ultimately came away with an impression of this tea as pleasant but flawed. Personally, I would not advise someone to avoid this tea, but there are better teas of this type out there, and they are not all that difficult to find.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Green Beans, Hazelnut, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pecan, Pine, Plum, Smoke, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetal, Walnut