It is a well established fact that Tan Yang is my favourite ever kind of black tea. So what, you may be wondering, is your second-favourite kind of black tea, Ang? Tough question! It depends, I suppose. Sometimes I’ll say Lapsang Souchong, other times I’ll say Keemun, because those are both teas that I must own in some form or other. It doesn’t even have to be the most perfect LS or Keemun that I’ve ever found, although that would of course be preferable; there just has to be one.
If you were to ask me such a question, Bailin likely wouldn’t even make it into my thoughts before answering. However, the first time I drank the Bailin from TeaVivre, I found that it was so close in nature to the Tan Yang of Loveliness that I have reached the conclusion that they are interchangable for me. I’m not saying that they taste exactly they same and therefore it doesn’t matter which one I’ve got. What I’m saying is that they fill out the same role for me. If I want a Tan Yang and haven’t got one, I can drink Bailin instead and be happy. And vice versa. It’s the same with caramel flavoured things and toffee flavoured things. They’re not really the same thing, but they do the same thing.
Therefore, I think we must conclude that my second favourite type of black tea is Bailin. (Second favourite type of black tea that can’t be from Fujian would probably still be Keemun, though, fyi)
I’ve had two Bailins before that I can recall. The first one I had was from TeaSpring and it had a remarkable orange-y flavour to it. It was really lovely. The second one was from TeaVivre and that one didn’t seem to have that much in the way of that orange-y note. On the other hand it was a bit wild and exciting, although still a little more well-behaved than my favourite Tan Yang. Now I’m having the TeaVivre one again, choosing wild and exciting over orange-y. (Mind you, the TeaSpring one I had was yeeeeeeears ago, and the current offering might not even have that note)
The aroma is cocoa-y and grainy, and the flavour is as well. Cocoa and grain, caramel-y aftertaste, and something just a little bit sharp and citrus-y around the edges. Yes. This is still filling out the same role as Tan Yang for me, only with a little more sophistication. :)
As I already made an extensive post on this when I had the first time, I’m not really going to bother with doing it again. Just know that I’m as pleased with this now as I was then and that I still agree completely with myself, save perhaps for having noticed that touch of something orange-y, although it is very very tiny indeed and might just be my own imagination.