92

This was one of my sipdowns from around the middle of last month. It was also the first of three Japanese black teas that I plowed my way through in just under a week. Of the bunch, it was easily the best. This tea had a mild and mellow character as well as a refinement that the other two teas lacked.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped approximately 3 grams of loose leaf material in about 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not rinse the leaf material prior to infusion nor did I attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of dark chocolate, straw, and pine. After infusion, I detected aromas of cinnamon, cream, malt, raisin, caramel, and baked bread. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of dark chocolate, raisin, straw, hay, pine, malt, cream, butter, umami, oats, cinnamon, peas, baked bread, damp grass, roasted peanut, roasted hazelnut, earth, moss, minerals, and orange zest. There were also hints of cinnamon, caramel, and plum here and there. The finish was very smooth and creamy with a gently invigorating afterglow.

Overall, this was a subtly rich, earthy, nutty, and vegetal black tea. It was easy to tell that it had been produced from a cultivar normally associated with green tea production. I particularly appreciated its lively, textured liquor and its skillful integration of aromas and flavors that had the possibility to clash badly. I wish it had been just a little sweeter and fruitier, but that’s me nitpicking. This was a wonderful black tea and one that I would have no difficulty recommending to open-minded tea drinkers.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Grass, Hay, Hazelnut, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Oats, Orange Zest, Peanut, Peas, Pine, Plums, Raisins, Straw, Umami

Preparation
3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
mrmopar

Sounds like I need a What-Cha order.

eastkyteaguy

Luckily, this tea is still in stock.

Leafhopper

I also checked the What-Cha website after reading your review. I’ve always stayed away from Japanese black tea because I wasn’t sure how to brew it, but you might have changed my mind.

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mrmopar

Sounds like I need a What-Cha order.

eastkyteaguy

Luckily, this tea is still in stock.

Leafhopper

I also checked the What-Cha website after reading your review. I’ve always stayed away from Japanese black tea because I wasn’t sure how to brew it, but you might have changed my mind.

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Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.

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