69 Tasting Notes
The leaves have a mesquite smoke aroma that mellows substantially once brewed. The dark amber liquor smells more like the memory of a campfire. The flavor is much milder than the aroma with a gentle brown sugar sweetness that offsets the dominant, mildly astringent, woodsy taste. The mesquite smoke returns as a persistent aftertaste.
The tea brews up a vibrant golden yellow, cloudy with downy fuzz from the tips. The smell is strongly of dried apricots with a soft note of caramel. The taste is mildly floral and sweet with a bitter orange pith finish. The aftertaste is apricot that lingers for quite a while. Mildly drying astringency.
Trying this again and it is still mostly mint. There is some earthyness from the pu-erh and there is some smoothness from the vanilla, so it is not all mint. I guess my expectations were a little high. It is what it says on the tin. I think I will try this chai style next time.
Rishi recommends brewing with 1 Tablespoon per cup. I didn’t have enough left for that this morning so I finished it off with the more traditional teaspoon per cup. The result was predictably milder without the typical robustness of a breakfast blend. Still a very good, but mellow tea. I will be reordering and will stick with the recommended Tablespoon of tea in the future.
Tried this with honey this time. Honey smoothes out some of the spice making it resemble a more traditional Moroccan mint but still with a little something extra. Honey and licorice result in a silky smooth mouth feel.
This is very different from other golden Yunnans I’ve had. The leaves are a lot smaller and darker. The tea brews up much darker as well – a deep reddish brown. The smell is woodsy and honeysuckle. The taste is oak and dark chocolate. Moderately bitter without any noticeable sweetness. The astringency is much more pronounced than other Yunnans.
As the leaves are so large and airy, I doubled the amount of tea I used to 2 teaspoons per 8 oz and the resulting cup was liquid honey. The liquor was a deeper gold and the sweetness was much more pronounced. Floral honey and apricots. Tao of Tea recommends 1 -2 teaspoons. I think 2 is the winner. This is how I’ll be brewing this tea in the future.
The smell is promising, bright bergamot and cola, but the taste is flat and a little soapy. Pretty one dimensional – bergamot. No real bitterness to speak of. Mildly astringent. Brews up dark brown. A mild afternoon tea. I no longer feel the need to nap, so it did the trick.
The second steep is much lighter and sweeter. Everything from color to smell to taste is mellower on the second steep with the exception of a prominent marshmallow sweetness that I didn’t get in the first steep. Definitely worth a second steep.
The tea brews up garnet red. The smell is mild charcoal, leather and pine. Sometimes I get a saline mineral taste like sea air, other times it tastes earthy and vegetal like peat or hay. Moderate astringency and a little bitterness.