I find it amusing that in my first tasting note for this tea five months I steeped it for 3 minutes. I have since shared this tea with several people, re-ordered the later autumn harvest and am now sipping on the Spring 2012 harvest brewed gongfu style starting at only 5 seconds. But this tea is amazing at a few seconds, 30 secs, 1 min or even 3. I have been infusing it all day, thinking I should eventually move on to an oolong our shu after dinner, but it just keeps on giving, I have no idea how many infusions I’ve done, but I’m now at a minute and a half and is just starting to smell of pine and hickory but still tastes so very sweet.
This spring batch is subtly different from the autumn, even the smell is a bit warmer and floral, while the autumn is cool and dark (yes I sniffed back and forth). It is still wonderfully sweet, malty and chocolaty but that sweetness is a bit different and again I think it comes back to warmth and I agree with the caramel description. It also seems to have less spice than I’ve experienced before. I don’t really get the floral notes in the taste but am excited to taste these different aspects in the Bergamot Rose and the Laoshan Village Chai blends I also ordered.
And don’t worry dear readers this is still the same Laoshan Black we know and love, just with different seasonal elements that I think are worth tasting. Also bumping up the rating, not because of this version per se, but because I’ve enjoyed all its incarnations many times and gotten more infusions out of this today than I have out of any other black tea.