I added this tea to my massive TTC order because I was intrigued by the stonefruit and citrus notes they described. They also mentioned that they made Bai Hao, one of my favourite teas, from this cultivar. The first time I made this tea, I accidentally steeped it like an oolong (25/20/25/30, etc.) because it was early in the morning and my brain wasn’t fully online. This time, I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

Dry, these long, dark leaves smell like honey, raisins, apples, and peaches. The first steep reveals the typical notes of cinnamon and sassafras found in Taiwan black tea, along with raisins, honey, malt, apple, tannin, and a hint of peach. There’s a good balance of tangy peach/apricot/raisin and honey in steep two, plus that sassafras note. The third steep leans more heavily toward apricots and peaches, and the citrus makes a welcome appearance. Cream, wood, and malt become more noticeable in the next couple steeps, though the other flavours are still strong. By steep seven, the citrus and stonefruit are almost gone, leaving raisins, malt, sassafras, wood, earth, and tannins.

While it is not mind-blowing, this is a very drinkable black tea that has many of the flavours I enjoy. I’m getting a bit tired of its amorphous raisin/stonefruit/tangy profile since I’ve had a lot of teas featuring it recently, but that’s more my fault than the tea’s. I’ll have no issue finishing my remaining 15 g and recommend it for those looking for an easy-drinking experience.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Earth, Honey, Malt, Peach, Raisins, Sarsaparilla, Tangy, Tannin, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 6 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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