I’ve been wanting to try this tea for ages because of the Steepsterite raving. Thanks to Doulton, I finally get my chance!
Visually, the leaves are so long and twisty – they remind me of when worked at a tobacco company and one day opened up the break room freezer only to find 8 gallon-sized plastic bags stuffed with dried tobacco leaves. Those leaves smelled nice but these smell better – cocoa-y, but unlike some cocoa-smelling teas there’s no dryness to it, making it smell richer. But once the tea was in my cup? Oh, that’s lovely. Chocolaty and insanely sweet – like honey or syrup or sugar – and then a little touch of something that makes me think of maybe honeysuckle but that I wouldn’t go so far as to say is floral. So not really sure what that bit is about but it all combines to make something lovely.
With as light and sweet and fluffy as the tea smells, it is surprisingly solid tasting. It’s very smooth with only the barest hint of astringency/dryness at the end. It tastes a lot like a good Tanyang Gongfu actually, but instead of the sweetness being figgy (well, figgy to me… I think technically it supposed to be plum), this one is more of a lighter-than-clover-honey taste. There are strong cocoa notes, especially as it cools and particularly in the aftertaste. There’s also a hint of something that is sharper, something that I can really only identify when I slurp and then it reminds me of burnt sugar or a marshmallow that got a little singed while being roasted over a campfire.
I can see why it has such a fan base – it has really full and yummy flavor that is quite enjoyable. But as good as this is, I think I prefer TeaSpring’s Tan Yang Te Ji (which is no longer on their site – what’s up with that?)