Sipped while piping hot and my initial thought was “this is plain, I should have let it steep longer than the recommended 3.5 min”. I have been drinking the golden monkey from silk road which has a strong chocolaty flavor and almost coffee like when steeped for 4.5 minutes. My intention was not to compare them but sometimes our neurons transmit prejudices that we don’t always immediately recognize. After cooling a couple minutes the second sip had me thinking peaches, or maybe apricots. After 30 seconds I thought, wow, there is a nice brown sugary, almost marshmallow cream taste coating my bottom gum line. Am I tasting a caramel apple? No – too thin, more like an apple that has been cored out, filled with brown sugar and baked in the oven. Continuing to sip it seemed the tea had coated with demerara sugar. Wait…no, it’s sap that is lingering. Almost like it’s been dusted with maple sugar. After finishing it I couldn’t help wanting another cup, more so than any other tea I’ve tried. Will try steep a bit longer next time to see if it fills in the background a little bit. Feels like the caffeine/theanine content is low but balanced. I may try to re-steep this tea and put the resulting tea with a bit of lemon in the fridge to cool and drink at work. I got this in the leafhopper sampler and after one cup am ready to order a bunch more. I can see why this sells out. Overall a fantastic and unique tea with a sweetness that lingers long after the cup is empty.
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec