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From The Phoenix Collection

Area: Guizhou Province.
This province is in the middle of Shichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi and Hunnan. It has a subtropical climate and inhabited by ethnics minorities. This allows for a traditional Yunnan like tasting black tea with subtle complexities.

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2 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

Thank you JC for this sample tea!

New Year’s Eve mail…samples from JC! I picked this Black Tea for my first tea of the New Year!

JC had reviewed this tea using a Gaiwan and short steeps. I decided to use longer steeps and a finum filter in a glass mug, a more Western Style brewing method with a heavy and rich taste.

When I opened the packet of tea, the scent of the dry leaves was sweet and the leaves were long, medium cocoa brown with golden threads.

My steep time was 3 minutes (JC don’t fall over!). While this may seem long, I used 1TB. tea to 7 oz. water and had no problem.

The flavor was not cocoa or malty like I had expected.
Instead, there was a clean, brisk taste that reminded me of Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu Black Tea, but better. (As much as I’ve always loved the Teavivre Black tea, it has an aftertaste that’s vegital that I don’t like.)

There’s citrus in the scent and flavor (barely orange) as though this is a lovely Nepalese Black Tea blend. (By this I mean that Black Tea from Nepal often has a fruity flavor, close to Darjeelings which can have a citrus taste).

One of the journey’s I’ve been on (if you can call it that) is trying lots of different Black Tea’s. Strong Irish and Scot’s Black Tea’s, Kenyan and Chinese Black Tea’s from different regions (Yunnan, Taiwan, Laoshan, Etc.), Darjeelings, Assams, Thai Black, Ceylon.
This has been my Winter Project…and works well with drinking
lots of Pu’er punctuated by many sessions with roasty Oolongs.

This Guizhou is one of the best black tea’s I’ve ever tasted!

Next time JC, I’ll try this in a Gaiwan your way and follow your steeping style. This time I was my own wild woman!

I sweetened the tea during the second steeping (many black tea drinkers do this so I had to check it out) Sweet but not diminished. (Same with adding cream.) The flavor stands up to additions. (I hate losing the flavor of tea to milk and sugar!)

Great way to begin tea tasting for the New Year!


I’m glad you liked it! I laughed when you said the steep time and the ’don’t fall over’. But honestly I to long steeps of this one all the time, now that I know how it behaves.

The scent of the bag is strong extremely bold, I thought it was going to be malty, maybe chocolaty and even bitter if over steeped. It was the other way around, soft, sweet, subtle and VERY forgiving with steeping times.


Ah, so I wasn’t crazy after all!

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183 tasting notes

Quick Notes Finally logging this one. I’ve been drinking it none end and now that I’m almost out of it I finally decided to log it.

Dry Leaf – Raw Sugar, vanilla, malty-bitterness, citrusy and plummy.
Wet Leaf – Sweet and malty, warm sugar some citrus notes.

Gong fu Style – Porcelain Gaiwan 5oz/5-6g

1st – 1sec – Very clean and citrusy at the front that has a slightly ‘savory’ maltiness that lingers before it becomes clean and sweet again.

2nd – 1sec – The lid smells like vanilla infused sugar. The liquor is clean, sweet(like warm water with sugar) and refreshing on front. As it washes down it has a savory malitiness that linger a bit. The citrus notes is a bit more apparent and it feel refreshing.

3rd – 2secs – The lid smells like raw sugar, vanilla and maybe (almond?). Citrusy up front and immediately sweet. The body seems savory while maintaining its sweetness(good balance) as it washes down. It has a light body not ‘heavy’/‘creamy’, it feels refreshing, smooth and clean.

4th – 2secs – The lid smells like vanilla, almond and sugar. Citrusy up front and turns sweet, slightly ‘cleaner’ than previously. The malty notes are not as strong although it is still present as it washes down.

5th – 4secs – The lid smells sugary, vanilla and some faint almond. Sweet with citrus notes. It turns slightly savory and malty as it washes down. It has a cleaner aftertaste, very refreshing.

6th – 5secs – The lid smells slightly malty, sugary, vanilla and faintly like almonds. Cleaner start, not as citrusy, but very sweet. The body maintains its malty and almost savory characteristics. The aftertaste is malty and sweet with freshness.

Final Notes
Using a small Gaiwan, I’m able to get past 11 steeps with this one. I love it western cup as well with 10, 15, 20, 30, 45 seconds and 1min steeps. I feel like this tea doesn’t change as much as most black teas do with a ‘flavor peak’ although the 2nd and 3rd steeps can be the most easily noticeable in taste.

The tea is very forgiving in the sense that if you do over-steep(bitter) you can still get a good steep on the next one, it doesn’t seem to retain the bitterness in the leaf. I would compare it to Imperial Golden Buds(Yunnan), Golden Bi Luo, and even nicked named it ‘Golden fleece’s dirty sister’ (Golden fleece from verdant). I call it ‘dirty’ because verdant’s version was very complex BUT very subtle, this one seems bolder.
Bolder vs Subtle doesn’t mean good vs better it is just what it is. Bolder vs Subtle, depends on your preference which one is ‘better’.


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