This tea has a special meaning to me. I remember it like it was yesterday…waking up to one of the most beautiful September days in memory. Such bright sunshine and clear, deep blue skies. Such a gorgeous, picture perfect day, only to be scarred forever by the horrors of Septeber 11, 2001! Such a deeply sad day, I still get sick in my gut, and can’t watch the events of that day.
I first drank Hao Ya B on that day, and this tea offered some solace as the events unfolded that day. I remember liking the tea immensely, noting a mildly smokey, dry leaf with chocolate notes, while the cup was medium brown with a smokey less chocolatey aroma. The flavor was mildly smokey & smooth, with chocolate notes in the back end or aftertate. A great tea!
I ordered this new lot before 09/11/2011, and wanted to review it and experience this old friend in remembrance of that day….but alas, the tea order arrived late….:((. So I decided to take my time with the review. I’ve had ten cups since Oct 21, 2011. My first two cups on that night were hindered by clogged sinuses, so I wasn’t detecting any chocolate notes at all, just a mildly smokey aroma and flavor in the leaf, cup, and on my palate. My 3rd & 4th cups (10/28/11), and 5th & 6th cups (11/04/11), were similiar in smokiness, with some chocolate notes detected in the leaf, cup, and palate (to varying degrees).
My last two cups on Mon., 11/07/11 will sum up the review. Chocolate notes were detected to varying degrees, but most notable in the dry and wet leaf, less so in the cup, and in the back end or aftertaste….again less noticeable than in the leaf itself. Smelled more like burnt caramel smokiness. A solid, smooth, earthy, mildly smokey tea that is very enjoyable! I forgot to mention HY B is a small leaf, with some white tips, which lend to the smoothness of the cup.
NOTE: 11-15-11==> Here’s a comment I posted on LiberTeas Hao Ya B review page: ScottTeaMan " I thought I noticed some wine like notes once or twice when drinking H & S HY B, but didn’t note it b/c those “notes” seemed to be playing hide and seek with me. :))" So yes, there you have it, occasional somewhat light, wine-like notes, without the alcohol. :))
This is one of my favorite teas, and if I didn’t pace myself, my 4 oz tin would be gone already!
Reviewed on Sat., 11-12-11.