519 Tasting Notes
The leaves smell soooo vanilla with sweet bergamot… reminds me a lot of Paris from Harney. But when steeped, there isn’t much vanilla or bergamot. It is however, massively Darjeeling. Deeply muscatel with stone fruits and some grassyness. I got zero astringency as well. I quite like this one, even if it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
This has darker leaves than the Yunnan Black Buds from Upton. It also has more of the flavor I expect. Hay, dust, minor hint of smoke (or maybe it’s just my super paranoid smoke detector tastebuds), some sharpness. I normally would expect sweetness rather than sharpness though. While this is better than the Black Buds, it is still a wholly unremarkable Yunnan. Still, better than no Yunnan, but nothing I’ll get more of.
This was a fairly plain Yunnan to me. I steeped for 1 minute and then for 3. Not much change and the flavor didn’t really deepen or expand at all. At 5 minutes there was more classic Yunnan flavor. It’s better than no Yunnan, but aside from the dry leaves being very pretty with a goldeny mix, this is not a standout for me.
I’ve now had this 5 times. I’ve tried varying temperature, steep time and prepared it like chai with milk and sugar. I just find it unimpressive. I don’t get any caramel at all. Just a nondescript sweetness, possibly a sweetness that wants to be chocolate but isn’t. Oh, well. It was really, really inexpensive so I can’t complain too much. If anyone wants to try this, it’s going in the rehoming box so just let me know! :)
This is my last black Yunnan from boychik’s generosity. :)
This smells fruity and dark. Initial steep at 1:30 was fruity and golden tasting with a bit of sharpness. At 3 min it was sharper and the scent reminds me sooo much of Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black from Butiki. The flavor is raisiny like so many have mentioned with TWMB but this is not quite as sweet and the sharpness on the tongue is more noticeable.
It’s an excellent tea. Not sure I’d keep it over TWMB but that may be sentimentality speaking as that was the tea that really supercharged my interest in all of these malty, bready, deep blacks, even though it is not a Yunnan. :)
Om nom nom. This is buttery, thick and yummy. Everything I want in a Yunnan. The dry leaves didn’t hold a hint of what was to come. It wasn’t until I caught a whiff as I carried my cup back to my desk today that I got really interested. :) This one certainly goes on the wishlist for a future order! Thanks, boychik!
This is an oddity. It’s a strawberry flavored tea and a green tea and a bagged tea – that I liked! This one was quite enjoyable today at work. I steeped twice. It was a bit weaker the second time but still decent. I need to try this one cold, too, since I generally prefer fruity teas cold. But it was very good hot! I do wish they sold it loose as well but the bag wasn’t a terrible impediment to enjoyment. :)
Lovely leaves yield a malty, thick and sweet liquid. This is super.
This one I did all in one long go as I had to deal with the window salesman. He arrived just as I was pouring the hot water over the leaves. I didn’t keep close track but I think it was probably around 3 minutes. Buying new windows is a painful-to-the-pocketbook process. :( Good thing I’m well stocked on tea so I don’t have to worry about spending my tea money on windows! :)
Bottom line: another on the list to order!
Another from the Big Box o’ Yunnan Sourcing courtesy of boychik! :)
Long, golden leaves steep up to a leathery, fruity, savory yet somewhat sweetish brew that smells like smoke but doesn’t really taste much of it.
30 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min all pretty much the same. Lighter flavors, sweeter, lighter color. 2 min, 3 min yields darker liquid with some bitterness and dryness. I think the sweet spot for me would be between 1 and 2 minutes. Enough time to get some depth but not so much that it turns more bitter than I like. Always possible I used too much leaf, as well.
Overall, while this was fine, I prefer Mandala’s Golden Strand.