85

TeaTiff was nice enough to send me a generous sample of this tea. It says on their website that this tea is from Yunnan, but the leaves look Taiwanese to me. They have that long, twisty, spindly look and they’re quite dark. Smells strongly of dry, unsweetened cocoa and honey with some maltiness.

Initially, I followed the directions on Hugo Tea’s website and steeped for 4 minutes. The aroma was malty with honey, but there was also a kind of peppery, herbaceous quality that reminded me of fennel seed. And it turns out, that’s exactly what it tastes like too! Very similar to pumpernickel or rye bread with a strong fennel seed taste, along with some malt and an aftertaste of dry cocoa. Wow, this tea is so unique-tasting! I kept taking sips just to experience the fennel phenomenon again!

After reading some of the notes on here, I decided to also try a 3 minute steep since a lot of people did that and mentioned more chocolate and caramel notes. Aroma was more cocoa and honey and less fennel this time. It definitely tasted less fennel-y, but I didn’t really find a lot more cocoa or honey in there. So I definitely prefer the 4 minute steep! And it’s much more honeyed with just a small amount of sugar. Pumpernickel bread with honey smeared over the top, mmmm!

Flavors: Cocoa, Fennel Seed, Honey, Malt, Rye

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

I should try it at 4 min. Sadly it’s at home:(

Cameron B.

Well, definitely try it if you don’t hate fennel seeds. :P It’s quite unique.

Nicole

I got no fennel at all! Strange how some flavors are common across notes and some are not. :) Last time Hugo Tea responded to one of my reviews they said it was a blend of Yunnans so maybe some of them look like Taiwanese leaves! :)

Cameron B.

It’s probably just a variety of Yunnan that I’ve never seen. All of the other ones I’ve had have been somewhat thin, curly leaves. :P

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Comments

boychik

I should try it at 4 min. Sadly it’s at home:(

Cameron B.

Well, definitely try it if you don’t hate fennel seeds. :P It’s quite unique.

Nicole

I got no fennel at all! Strange how some flavors are common across notes and some are not. :) Last time Hugo Tea responded to one of my reviews they said it was a blend of Yunnans so maybe some of them look like Taiwanese leaves! :)

Cameron B.

It’s probably just a variety of Yunnan that I’ve never seen. All of the other ones I’ve had have been somewhat thin, curly leaves. :P

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-year-old software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Current Subscriptions:
52teas
Bird & Blend
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
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Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

Location

Austin, Texas

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https://www.instagram.com/cam...

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