Another great sample from Nicole! Thank you! This one looks really similar to the Yunnan Sourcing sample of Black Gold that Nicole also sent. Hmm. There is plenty of gold here. It looks like a variation of a snail tea. Black and gold tight bundles that somehow artfully unravel into these huge leaves. The flavor is fantastic. The deep amber cup has all the characteristics I love in a black tea: at first it is floral or like wine, then there are slight pepper and smoky notes, while being malty, honey yet still rich. Hints of fruit. This is really somehow everything except a chocolate tea, which surprised me. It’s a very complex tea, very intoxicating and addicting. I think the favorite that I’ve tried from Mandala over the years. I probably didn’t need to use 1 1/2 teaspoons, one heaping teaspoon would do, but it was fantastic steeped this way anyway. Three solid steeps with none of that oversteeped oaky flavor some black teas tend to have. I’ll try the YS- Black Gold with these parameters.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 10 minutes after steeping // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 6 min a.b. // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 5+ min