I wish I liked more tea.
I wish I could be like many of you here who seem to like pretty much any quality tea, no matter what type it is-but it is not to be. I’ve been expanding a bit more beyond the teas that I am used to and I have found that I have definite preferences-new things I like and new things I don’t. I enter the process open-minded, but there are just some things my senses don’t care for and Laoshan black is one of them. It’s kinda disheartening to hear people rave about a tea that I just don’t care for. I’d like to join the club exalting various great teas and have people think I know a lot about tea because I agree with them. But no words-no matter how cogent-can convince my senses that they enjoy something when they just don’t.
I KNEW this was not your typical breakfast tea when I ordered it. Still, it seemed worth a shot. However, by the time I got around to trying this tea, I have already discovered that I was less than enthralled with 2 of its components (Laoshan Black and Big Red Robe). So this puts a lot of pressure on Yunnan Golden Buds and Xingyang 2007 Imperial Pu’er. Considering I’ve never had Pu’er before (and that there’s probably not much in it), it’s mostly up to the Golden Buds-those poor buds never stood a chance.
The best thing about this tea is how striking all those golden buds look mixed in with the Laoshan Black leaves-very nice. Sadly, the black overwhelms those buds and I can’t really taste them. I taste the chocolate notes in the black, but it’s not remotely sweet. I eat 72% dark chocolate (not sweet enough for most) and I taste enough sweetness. The chocolate notes in the black are bland. Thick, heavy and bland. At least they are NOT bitter, like unsweetened chocolate. Not sure whether I can taste the pu-er. I catch a glimpse of mineral now and then from the oolong. Even if I enjoyed this more, I can’t imagine wanting this as my first cup in the morning. For that, I guess I prefer your typical Assam/Yunnans straight or in blends. But, even as an afternoon tea, this just doesn’t work for me.