Queued post, written April 18th 2014
Okay, I’m going to do a quick morning post of this and after that I’m going to aim for the ABTS (Apply Bottom To Seat) approach to my Camp NaNoWriMo writing. I’ve got behind while we had Husband’s parents staying, but that’s not really the biggest problem. The real problem is that I’m in re-writing phase now and this has turned out to be an awful lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. I would murder my internet for the duration, but that’s not as easy as it sounds and involves reaching into tiny corners and places where I can’t see what I’m doing, so I’m just going to have excert will-power.
HAH! As if anybody believes that. I’m already struggling with convincing myself to NOT have cake for breakfast. I am such a grown-up.
Anyway, I gave Husband the choice of tea this morning from among my three untasted JW samples, and for the second time, very surprisingly him being Cornflakes-Man and all, did not choose the LS. He picked this one, of which we used all the leaf for a large pot. And then spilled some, but there should still be enough in the pot that we can get a decent resteep.
This has a very malty aroma and it also reminds a little of honey. I’m not getting any cocoa from it, but there is something that I can’t quite put my finger on and it’s sort of in the same family as cocoa, smell-wise. (No, it’s not chocolate) It’s quite faint though, so I’m not deeming it super-important to decipher it at this point. Underneath all this there is a lot of grain and wood, so it smells like a good strong tea here. At first glance a good choice for the first tea of the morning.
Oooh, it may not smell entirely like cocoa, but it definitely has cocoa notes in the flavour. Not a lot of it, but just at the very beginning of the very first sip, there it was. It was followed with something that struck me as ever so slightly tart, ever so slightly wine-y. Interesting! That’s not a flavour I’m used to finding in tea at all.
The more I sip, the more the wine-y note seems to stand out. It’s in the realm of a slightly spicy wine here, perhaps even a tiny little bit mulled? I’m not getting too much of the grain and wood body I noticed in the aroma, although there those were fairly strong notes. I enjoy a good deal of grain in my Chinese black, so I’m missing it a little, but not to the point where it really bothers me.
This tea is very different from the Chinese black teas I’ve usually had, even the Yunnan teas I’ve usually had. It has a really interesting flavour and it’s very much worth a visit. Had I not been under certain ordering constraints (in general, but in particular with this brand) I think I could easily drink a tin of this.
It reminds me a little of the very first time I had the fabled Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring. I honestly didn’t know what to make of it. I wasn’t even certain whether or not I liked it. And then gradually I discovered that I did like it. I really did. I really really did! It has remained my favourite ever black in the world since then and although a few teas have come close, none have yet managed to push it off that pedestal. With enough exposure to it, this Dian Hong has the potential of growing on me in the same way. Perhaps not quite to the epic pinnacles of the TYTJ, but close.