I purchased this one from Ost in her stash sale. The second I saw two of Butiki’s straight blacks on her list, I pounced! They just so happened to be two blacks that I hadn’t purchased but was curious about. Gotta love how that works out sometimes. :P Anyway, I decided to cheat this morning and try this tea instead of drinking one of the black teas I’m supposed to be sipping down. Naughty! The leaves look surprisingly similar to a very tippy Yunnan. There are a ton of fuzzy metallic golden buds mixed with darker leaves. Dry scent is slightly malty and sweet (I confess, I stored this in a tin that used to house a fruity tea and I don’t think I let it air out long enough, so it smells slightly fruity too). I followed the recommended instructions aside from the water temperature.
Brewed, the tea smells very strong and malty/bready with some earth notes and a bit of sweetness. Whoa, I was not ready for the taste. I don’t have any experience with Assam teas, and I’m finding this to be extremely strong and quite earthy. I think I now know what “brisk” means when describing tea. Once I got past the initial taste, I found a fruity sweetness in the second half of the sip. There’s definitely a dark cocoa flavor that almost borders on bitterness, and a little spurt of floral in the aftertaste which was rather unexpected!
Overall, I was really surprised by the strength and intensity of this tea, especially after looking at the dry leaves. But the experience was a pleasant one for me, and I feel like my tongue got more and more used to the strong earthy flavor as I kept drinking. I think in the future, I’ll try this one with sugar or milk and see how that changes it. :)
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Cocoa, Dried Fruit, Earth, Floral, Malt