I’ve heard a lot of good things on Steepster about this tea. Thanks, Derk and/or White Antlers, for the sample, which even if WP’s shipping to Canada were more reasonable, I probably never would have tried. I haven’t gongfued a jasmine tea before, but people have done it with this version, so here goes. I steeped 5 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus five or six more long, uncounted brews.
The dry aroma of these fuzzy little curls is of heady jasmine and a touch of malt and earth from the black tea. There’s something about jasmine that makes me think of banana, which I’m weirdly tasting here, and I don’t get much of the base tea. In the second steep, the black tea shows its malty, earthy presence, which is a bit of a relief as I thought my taste buds had been completely overwhelmed by the jasmine. By steep three, the jasmine smells and tastes less perfumey, which I appreciate, and it blends beautifully with the cocoa, earth, honey, and malt of the black tea. Like other reviewers before me, I also taste grape, though that could be another association with the fruity jasmine.
By steep five, the black tea asserts itself more strongly, with notes of autumn leaf pile, malt, sweet potato, honey, cream, a touch of astringency, and florals (though of course, the jasmine helps with that). During the middle of the session, the black tea and jasmine are perfectly balanced and the tea has a smooth, silky texture. I steeped this tea several more times than I initially intended to get all the jasmine, which still worked well as the black tea became more earthy, mineral, and tannic.
I now understand why people rave about this tea. While it’s not something I’d want to have every day, it’s surprisingly well balanced and tasty.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Banana, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Floral, Grapes, Honey, Jasmine, Malt, Mineral, Perfume, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin