O hai, Steepsterites.
Being chilly is an excellent excuse for trying out new tea, isn’t it? We’re having true april weather here at the moment. Warm and sunny for two days and then some more cold and hard wind. April is always a bit of a gamble when something out-doors-y is arranged. (Guess what we’re doing on saturday…)
This one was a semi-random pick in the sample basket. I knew I wanted either something black or something darkish oolong and something Chinese. As luck would have it, this was the first thing I pulled out, so I stuck with that.
I didn’t really get much out of the aroma of the dry leaf, but after steeping it’s very smooth and rounded. There’s a heavy honey-like sweetness in it, and a thick note of grainy rye bread-ness. The spicyness that one typically finds in Yunnans doesn’t seem to be present in the aroma very much. It’s there, but it’s being completely dominated by the other two. And yet, somehow, the aroma of this one strikes me as fairly typical for the region. Rather sweeter maybe, but otherwise quite recognisable.
It’s very sweet in flavour as well. The honey note is strong and the spicy pepper-y note doesn’t show up until at the very end of the sip. The note of grain that was present in the aroma hasn’t really made it into the flavour.
Again, a typical sort of Yunnan flavour. Honey sweet with prickly spicy pepper and an overall set of flavour characteristics that sort of remind me of horses eating hay. To bring my tendency to associate certain flavours with certain colours, this has a warm, darkish yellow sort of flavour. Almost golden, but not quite.
I’m not sure how to rate this though. Yunnans aren’t generally my super-favourite type ever, although I retain a healthy dose of curiosity about them. They’re a bit touch and go for me. I either really like it or I find it tolerably good. And any Yunnan can swing back and forth between the two depending on what sort of mood I’m in. So if my average on Yunnan’s are generally a bit all over the place, this would be the explanation.