A sample from Teavivre. The first thing I noticed about this one, other than it’s long, thick, twisty leaves, was how light it is. Even after 3-4 minutes, it’s still a medium golden brown. Most of the Yunnan/Dian Hongs I’ve tried have been similar, but still usually darker (at least on first steep) than this one gets. It’s actually quite refreshing, because there’s none of that black tea “heaviness”, and (of course) no bitterness or astringency. There’s no impact on the flavour, either – that’s still full and surprisingly fruity.
I was expecting bread/chocolate, but this one’s a little different. I’m getting mostly stone fruit flavours – apricot, maybe a touch of plum. There’s also a mild earthiness that reminds me a little bit of ripe pu’erh, but it’s by no means overpowering. Subsequent steeps have a little breadiness in the mid-sip, and a touch of honey towards the end of the sip, but the main flavour for me is the fruit. It’s light and juicy, perfectly smooth, and just right for a warm summer afternoon. Another win from Teavivre!