I’m not sure if I’ve had a vietnamese tea before. An oolong I think, but another black? I’m not so sure. Consequently I haven’t a clue what to expect here. I’m the second one to post about this one and the other poster thought it was great, so that’s a good beginning.
IF, that is, his taste in tea is similar to mine.
The dry leaves have a strong aroma of tobacco and leather. Sort of dark and spicy. I don’t know why I know what tobacco smells like actually. I shouldn’t logically know as the few people I know that smoke all smoke cigarettes. My grandfather smoked a pipe when I was a child so that must be how I remember, but still… Memory is a pretty funny thing.
Anyway, after steeping the dominant note has a hint of something more Darjeeling-y with that slightly grassy sort of greenness but the grain-y part of it is dominant. I’m getting rather a lot of freshly baked and still warm rye bread out of this.
That rye is there in the flavour as well. There is TONS of it. This is very robust with lots of flavour and like the Chinese that I prefer, no astringency to be found. It’s well rounded off and gradually builds that rye bread aftertaste that makes you feel like you’ve actually had something to eat as well.
It has a fair bit of a smoky note as well, which makes the whole thing rather remind me of a less refined, less civilised Keemun. This is like a Keemun that has strayed from the path and gone rogue.
The funny thing is, though, that while this little number displays all this Chinese behaviour, it doesn’t taste Chinese at all and it’s got some of the same strength and power that you find in Indians and Ceylons. It’s rather like the middle of the road between those two ‘directions,’ if you can call it that.
I’m finding I quite like this. I think that it would be an excellent tea for the breakfast table and that people who tend to prefer Chinese blacks over Indian or Ceylon, might get a number of good things out of this one. I’m not certain yet if it’s one I’ll want to own, but I would certainly not be opposed to having it again.