I am seriously drowning in tea now. My orders from 52teas and The Simple Leaf both came in today, and now I’m starting to think that investing in a better tea storage solution is completely critical. This wouldn’t be such a disaster if I were capable of ordering just one or two samples, but I’m really not. My counter is a minefield of new tea.
What can I say about this tea that other people haven’t already said?
Opening the bag, you’re hit with the scent of cocoa powder — the light, fluffy, dusty kind. To me, the aroma was a lot like chocolate milk. Everyone to remark on the leaves themselves is utterly in earnest — they are incredible. Thick, woody, substantial, smooth. They are tea leaves that you could kill a man with. They have heft.
They are also very difficult to estimate by eye, reinforcing for me that a scale is something I’m overdue to invest in.
Steeped, while still very hot the aroma slips occasionally toward something distinctly honey. Honey and cocoa are definitely there…and so is a woody depth that reminds me not just a little bit of Golden Moon’s Imperial Formosa Oolong. You never lose sight of the fact that this is tea, either; what I think of as the quintessential tea flavor is there, but darker, shadowed.
The other note I can identify is one I’ve gone back and forth about adding here for reasons that will become obvious, but it’s just so prevalent that I can’t really see any way to get around it:
Not fresh. More like…hash. Why yes, I did spend a few years in my youth doing things you’re not technically allowed by our country to do!
Seriously, though, it’s there. In small quantities, and more like the memory of something than the fact of it, but recurrent enough that this note would be incomplete without its mention.
For all that the list of flavors is dark…the tea itself is surprisingly not so, with a very low and subtle sweetness on the tail end that uplifts the oolong-like fullness in the mouth.
A delicious tea, and completey worthy of whatever ranting and raving people have been doing.
PS: Good for a second steep.