It’s cold and dark outside. There was no heat on in the train home from work and I’ve just recently managed to get properly warm again after that trip with the help of a big cardigan. Tea is of course also needed for the final warmth touch. Still had five tins of untried goodies from Auggy and this is one of them. Or was, as there was only leaf enough for one pot with the amount of leaf I tend to use. BUT there was exactly the amount of leaf that I would use for my pot! What an awesome coinkidink!
These leaves are just about the cutest leaves I’ve ever seen. They’re brightly golden and all curly and bow-y. Very decorative. Of course I was so tied up in the leaves being purdy and the fact that Auggy managed to hit exactly my perfect amount, that I forgot to smell them.
Adagio suggests a steeping time of 3-5 minutes. Habitually I use more leaf and a shorter steep. 3 minutes? That’s an eternity! With a black I always start at one minute and work from there these days. It hasn’t failed me yet. Obviously I had no intentions of following Adagio’s advice there. Which means that the result of the steeping is erm… rather up in the air. :)
This tea smells like wet dog. I’m sorry, but it does. Not stinky-wet dog. But a definite and very specifically wet dog. It’s a very spicy aroma, and very peppered. (I wonder if the pepper note is the source of that sneeze attack I had a few minutes ago) I used to consider golden yunnan a rather smoky sort and I was amazed when others identified it as pepper rather than smoke. Pepper? Really? With the aroma of this one, however, I too am getting the pepper. Loud and clear. No smoke. Just pepper.
What an interesting flavour. It has a strong oaky note, which rather reminds me of roiboos. Or maybe leaning more towards honeybush. It’s that category anyway. It’s sort of like the tea for people who would like to like roiboos but don’t. If you don’t like rooibos and don’t want to like it, don’t be scared away by this, though. It’s not that rooibos-y. This is the primary flavour.
Then there is that note that I tend to think of as semi-smoky. I’m finding it less and less so the more times I try Yunnans and more and more leaning towards the more standard pepper-y suggestion.
On the first sip I got a very initial pang of pure honey. It was sweet and fresh and so honeylike that I almost couldn’t believe it. Maybe I shouldn’t believe it. I can’t seem to find that note again.
There’s a rather nice lingering aftertaste to this. It leaves that coolness in the mouth, like after having something with peppermint. Not as pronounced, but definitely there. Along with that is the aftertaste of the tea, which seems to be rather true to the actual flavour of the tea itself. There’s something familiar about it, though. It kind of reminds me of the aftertaste I get from Kusmi’s Samovar blend. One wonders if that one has Yunnan in it…? (The tin just says Indian and Chinese teas. Not that helpful)
This is a tea that it would be easy to dislike. If you don’t like these qualities in a tea, you won’t like this one, because it does have a rather distinct flavour. On the other hand, if you like these qualities in a tea, you might really like this one a lot for the same reason.
I happen to quite like it, and I shall re-steep the leaves until they bleed.