Second of my samples generously provided to me by Teavivire – I am loving them so far!
I’ve had a bad experience with Yunnan’s in the past due to the fact that I found the one I tried (from Upton) to be quite smoky. I just don’t like the smoke, guys. In anything. Ever. It was suggested (by Tabby, I think) that maybe I need to just lower the temperature to reduce/avoid smokiness (despite Upton’s label saying to brew at boiling). I’d already passed the Upton tea on to someone else at that point, but when Angel at Teavivre offered this one I eagerly accepted.
Sure enough, the suggested brewing temperatures on this tea were about 20 degrees lower than my previous one. The leaves in the sample were beautiful – gnarled and golden and huge. The dry leaves were malty smelling – I picked up on a hint of sweetness, cocoa or caramel-ish but only very lightly so. I didn’t pick up on any smokiness in the scent, so I was very hopeful as I scooped about 3 heaping tsp. into my Breville.
Once steeped the liquor was that rich, mahogany dark brown I associate with black teas. No smoke in the steeped smell, either! Instead just an assam like maltiness. On the first sip the first thing I really picked up on was the full-bodied texture of the tea – it has a fabulously smooth mouthfeel. The malty scent carried over into the taste, where it blends with the taste of dark chocolate. I’m loving this without sweetener, but I could see it being strong enough to handle milk and sugar if that’s how you like your black teas.
What a wonderful morning tea – I am so glad to know that Yunnans are a tea that I can and do enjoy very much!