This tea smells like rich, fruity dark chocolate. Unfortunately, the fruit doesn’t make it into the first 15-second steep, but the chocolate definitely does, although like the classic version, it doesn’t seem as dark. There’s also toasted rice, a slight smokiness, and a hint of bitterness on the aftertaste. It’s kind of like drinking especially high-quality hot chocolate.

In subsequent steeps, the flavours are more defined and the chocolate is somewhat stronger. The toasted rice morphs into dark rye bread by the third infusion. This tea keeps getting sweeter and more chocolate-y until it peters out at about steep ten.

This is definitely a cut above the classic Laoshan black and is worth the extra money. Will buy again.

Flavors: Cacao, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Rye, Smoke, Toasted Rice

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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