I just realized I hadn’t tried this tea yet! Gasp! I’m sorry Whispering Pines, I didn’t meant to neglect you! I received a sample of this from Nicole, and I also bought a decent amount of it in a stash sale (was it Shadowfall? I don’t remember now, sorry!) It’s funny, even though this is a far less tippy Yunnan (appears to be about 30-40% tips?) than the others I’ve had from them, I can still definitely tell the quality difference in the leaves between their tea and other companies’ similar offerings. The leaves are long and unbroken, and very light and fluffy. And the golden tips have an obvious fuzzy texture and metallic appearance. Lovely! The smell is quite mild, like most Yunnan teas I’ve tried (some exceptions with the bud varieties). It’s light malt with some honey sweetness and vague fruit reference.
Brewed, it smells slightly earthy, but nowhere near the amount of the darker Yunnans I’ve been trying lately. And there’s definitely malt and dark dried fruit alongside it, which really turns it away from the mineral/smoke element that can be present in these teas. The taste is also somewhat earthy, but there’s no smoke here. There is malt and molasses with some dark dried fruits (raisins, cherries, figs maybe), and these really help to take the edge off of the earth notes and make this tea much more enjoyable for me. I wouldn’t call this tea bready, but it’s almost there. Not my favorite, but not bad for an everyday Yunnan, especially for someone who likes those darker flavors.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth, Malt, Molasses, Raisins