I’m surprised I haven’t tried this one yet… I thought for sure I would have. Now I want to go through my Le Palais des Thés sample set I bought ages ago to try the others that I never got around to.
I have been doing some massive swaps/giveaways and just like that my cupboard has dropped to 189 teas. I of course will be getting some teas back that will make it go up, but goodness it feels good to purge a bit. I had promised myself a tea order after I got below 200, but now I am waiting until I get my tax return and seeing how low I can go.
I brewed this slightly hotter than the lable recommended because I couldn’t bear to brew a black tea at 185°F. I figured my typical 3 minute steep time would compensate as they called for 4-5 minutes. I sniffed while brewing and became extremely wary. It smelled a bit musty, and a bit smoky. I was reminded of my recent experience with the Harney Tippy Yunnan where I didn’t like the slightly smoky note to it, and thought this would go similarly. Despite my misgivings, I let it cool and tried it.
I can say that though this is totally not the type of tea I usually drink, I am enjoying it. Yes, the Yunnan base is woody, earthy, and a hint smoky, but somehow I don’t mind it today. The bergamot is relatively well balanced; it’s not very strong, but I can still taste it and it’s a main part of the flavor. There is also this sweetness to it that is winning me over a bit. I am a sucker for natural sweetness in a tea. Altogether not a tea I would buy again, but way better than I was expecting this morning.
As a sidebar, I am very confused about Yunnan blacks. There are some Yunnan blacks, primarily golden-tip varieties like Golden Fleece and Teavivre’s Dian Hong Golden Tips, that I really really love. No woodiness, no smokiness. But I’ve tried a few other Yunnan blacks lately that have been completely different! I am sure it’s in part a grade thing, but it’s weird. Then again I have realized recently that I can’t stand some Keemuns but love others. So I guess grade makes a big deal for me in black teas.