I have a week-long sick leave and antibiotics, but my taste and smell doesn’t seems to be affected; so I can drink tea, gongfu it and such… Definitely something I will enjoy and hopefully I will get my tea cupboard a little smaller too. This is not yet a sipdown, but I have less than half from the pouch, so definitely a focus tea.
6 grams / 125 ml gaiwan / 90 °C water / no rinse
Dry leaves smell partially citrusy, dark malts and a little chocolately, but in preheated gaiwan the dark malts and dark honey has appeared with slight citrus note. Visually this tea looks similar to Annapurna Black Beauty by the same vendor, but leaves here are definitely less thick and they are smaller.
1st steep, 15 seconds
There is a “clash” between cocoa notes and dark honey notes in aroma of wet leaves, but it makes a wonderful complex aroma, with some spices in the background.
Flavour is very round, mouth and throat coating, quite sweet and creamy, with hints of cocoa and dark honey as the aroma; with sweet spices background. Those spices are a bit hard to describe, but it definitely reminds me a bit of the sweet cinnamon, but not really sure about that.
2nd steep 10 seconds
Flavours mentioned in the first steep note are here, but stronger, definitely more flavourful, even more creamy. The spicy note is an interesting twist, again I think it is the cinnamon. NO astringency. Wet leaves smell after wild and dark honey.
3rd steep 15 seconds
This time cocoa note dominates, with hitns of its bitterness. But there is still creamy mouthfeel that mutes that bitter note.
4th steep 30 seconds
Definitely cocoa and jammy fruits, but also round and cremy flavour with spicy aftertaste. Not only cinnamon this time, but can’t point out the other spices here, with little “juicy” astringency.
5th steep 45 seconds
Very similar to previous one, but with less round and less creamy notes. Also, a little note showing me that this tea is past its prime time – that “finished black tea” flavour; I don’t know how to describe it better. Astringency rises a bit, definitely it’s more drying and I think I will do one, last, 1 minute long, steep.
6th steep 60 seconds
Leaves aroma says definitely that this tea is finished, maybe you can get more from this tea if you are using colder water. But 5 flavourful steeps is a good work from tea that it is probably more suitable for western steeping and moreover it was very tasty and nice complex steeps.
Sadly, all teas have their last steep and this tea in 6th steep doesn’t bring anything but slight astringent liquor with creamy notes; but all cocoa, honey and spicy notes are gone.