Thank you Togo, for a sample of this black tea cake with snow chrysanthemum flowers. This was the first black/red tea cake I’ve had and my second encounter with these flowers. I am glad that beforehand I was able to try the snow chrysanthemum buds brewed alone (recommended!), which allowed me to discern the opened flowers’ contribution to this tea.
Gone western: 6g, 8oz, 205F, 3 steeps at 3/5/7m.
The dry leaf was not very fragrant, maybe a hint of raisin. Brewed up though, the garnet-brick red liquor had the pungent chysanthemum aroma which to me smells like tangerine, green bell pepper and dill pickle. It was also earthy, woody and sweet-smelling.
I didn’t get much flavor on the sip. Rather, it was the finish that carried the flavor. The base tea seemed lacking in body, muted, mineral and metallic like iron but clean. Holding the liquor in my mouth gave me a floral chysanthemum bouquet. On the swallow, I could pick up on some flat bitterness and not distinct flavors but tones of baked bread, citrus, raisin, apricot, dark wood and earth. Later, there was a pronounced sweetness in the back of my mouth.
Overall, it really reminds me of a clean cross of a shou and aged white cake with a floral addition. I wouldn’t seek this tea out but it was a nice session. I think I prefer the chrysanthemum alone as a tisane.