THis is a sample that I thought I had tried but apparently neglected. Luckily it was still sealed so when I opened it up I got a POW of aroma. The leaves are not whole but are in decent shape for an affordable yunnan and there are some golden ones in there. The aroma is richly cocoa, very bold and present, with a sense of bitterness and maybe some malt.
Steeped, the aroma remains as strong with the bitter malty notes over-riding the cocoa. I would like to have a cinnamon note here but I do not. I’m a little intimidated by the aroma, I tend to like my blacks a little gentler but smells can be deceiving. First sips reveal that I have been deceived. I’m getting some earthiness, some hay, some barn-like flavour that reminds me of a puerh. It’s not unpleasant and it is all supported by a sweet note but I can sense that this will build up in bitterness as I sip/the cup cools.
I think it’s the sweetness mixed with the earth that makes me think of fresh hay in a barn, and it’s really surprising for me. I’m not used to this in a yunnan, like I said above it is more of a puerh quality. I am pleasantly surprised by the flavour and feel it is much more complex than the initial aroma led me to believe. I am starting to get a sense of cocoa morphing into the back of the sip which is nice and more what I am used to. While I don’t think can take quite the same beating as my beloved Wild Black Yunnan from Davids, this one is a very nice offering. It also happens to be about $6 less per 50 grams than the Wild Black Yunnan which is a nice selling point. I think that next time I do a Teavivre order I may pick up more of this, or perhaps try out the next grade up in their Yunnan set (the full-leaf which contains more buds. For this price, I might pick up both of them!
I’m definitely digging this one – bold and rich but not bitter, that shows a good quality tea. I have a coworker who is super into Indian teas for their strength and not so much liking the Chinese blacks – maybe this one could help pull her over to my side! :)