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95

1 TB for 450 mL water @ 98C, steeped 4 minutes. Rating: 100.

I really like Yunnan teas. They generally lack the maltiness and pucker of the India black teas, though Golden Monkey will give you some malt.

This Peregrine First Flush is a whole new experience for me. The leaves are wiry and go from copper to earth brown, with plenty of golden tips. The liquor is very complex, with layers and layers of taste. First I got honey in the nose. Then a slightly mineral and fairly typical Yunnan flavour. Then all this oakiness, which could get bitter if the tea is steeped too long, but the bit of astringency tailing the oaky notes brings out the final bits of honey and florals. It reminds me very much of a good malt whisky. No, the tea does not taste like scotch, and it didn’t get me drunk, just blissed, in my tea-dork way. It’s the nuances and complexities of flavour, the way each sip tastes different at different places in your mouth. Notes of oak, fruits, flowers and honey fusing with Yunnan smoothness: a really, really good cup.

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Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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