I honestly don’t know why I bought a sample of this. I don’t really much care for most Yunnans because 95% of them tastes like hay to me, and I particularly don’t enjoy the golden ones. I suppose it was just extreme curiosity that came over me. (Strangely though, I can find myself in a state of mild panic sometimes over not having any Yunnan at all in the house, so there must be a time and a need for it. I just haven’t figured out what it is that creates this)
I suspect that I got this out of simply sheer curiosity, since I was ordering a vast amount of Laoshan Black anyway. When this one was first introduced to Steepster at large it was with many a word of praise, and those who got their hands on some swooned en masse. Really, they fell like flies! So I thought when I ordered, now is my chance to see what all the fuss is about.
The fuss is indeed about a golden type, but with that name I would honestly have been rather disappointed if the sample had not contained bright yellow leaves.
The aroma is heavy and smoky. I’m getting a fair bit of pepper here too, and a funny sensation that there is more depth to it than this, but gravity itself is preventing the aroma molecules from being pulled into my nose. There is also a thick sort of smell, that makes me think it smells as though I’ve put milk in it. (Which, for the record, is something I never do. No additives here, ever.) It doesn’t, however, seem to smell like hay at all. Good!
The first sip is a confused jumble of flavours that I can’t pick out from one another. On the whole, it feels thick. It’s this pseudo-milk sensation again. And then there’s an aftertaste of pepper and smoke. But all that stuff in between? That’s just a right mess. It feels all tangled up in there, so I’ll have to see if I can untangle it a bit.
No, I can’t. Or rather, I’m not sure it’s actually really necessary, because every sip I try, here, just gives me those three same primary notes. First the milkiness, then pepper and a smidge of smoke. Under it all we’ve got that hay, that I was fully expecting, but it’s not as prominent as it can sometimes be with these types.
And that’s really all there is to it. This is a funny sort of tea which has a fairly simple flavour profile but somehow manages to make it seem like it’s extremely complicated. I’m not sure how that even works at all.
Unfortunately for me, I does fall somewhat to the fact that I’m just generally unimpressed with Yunnans and it just doesn’t hit my swoon-buttons. I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed, because I honestly hadn’t expected to swoon either, but I am still somewhat underwhelmed. Sorry.