Buoyed by Dexter’s glowing review of this tea, I finally drank this tea last night.
It has quite a lovely rich, warm flavour. The first steep tasted a little like Chinese grocery store oolong in the orange tin if perhaps a little less nutty but subsequent steeps were much rounder, and richer in flavour with good roasted charred notes, balanced with caramel, cinnamon, stewed black cherries and apricots, cocoa, fall leaves, vanilla cream, and mineral notes. The first steep does have that odd mauvish colour that Dexter noted. Pretty tasty if you like dark roast teas.
The dry leaf is like the picture appearing very dark brown to black. They are heavily charred. The tea was well packaged as the nuggets remain solid and tightly wrapped in shape as I think the level of roasting may make them prone to crumbling.
I steeped the tea 9 times at @95°C after a rinse (40, 35,40,50,70,90,150s, 4min, 6 min), 1.5 TSP in 170ml Taiwan.
The broth was a eddish grey tinged brown for first steep, more red tinged golden brown for others.
40s. Scent Charcoal tinged roasted grain note, caramel, sweet dried apricot mixed with cherry and plum, hint of fall leaves spice note
Taste Toasted grains up front opening to brown sugar caramel note, hints of fruit and leaves layered in bbetween, bitter cocoa mixes with sweet sugar in the aftertaste. black cherry like fruit note becomes stronger as it cools and charcoal moves to the background.
35s scent roasted note, caramel over cherry with cinnamon, cocoa, fall leaves.
Taste Roasted note blended with much stronger cocoa note and fall leaves, over caramel, stewed black cherry and cinnamon.
40s scent. fruit, spice and caramel, moving to the front combined with the cocoa, roasted note moving into background
Taste Caramel, cocoa, with roasted notes over stewed cherries and cinnamon, leaf note gone.
50s. Taste Roasted note caramel cocoa, fruit heading more to dried apricot.
70s taste . Roasted grain, cocoa, caramel, joint of warm fruit with cinnamon. Black liquorice tone in aftertaste.
90s. Taste same as above with a little vanilla cream and the caramel notes are mellowing, but the tea is quite sweet, with a hint of roasted ash note, less fruit, and more cream, cocoa and mineral notes
150 taste sweet notes fading, roasted grain notes, cream, and mineral notes, with fading caramel and cocoa.
5min taste cream, cocoa,roasted,notes,vanilla, caramel., mineral note.
6min taste continuing to fade but still flavourful.
The spent leaves are charred in such away that even though they have unwound the blades remain mostly wound and are curly not flat leaves are dark chocolate brown.
A really nice warm tasting tea!