This is my first tea from the what-cha group buy. I was so excited by the arrival of the box that I just grabbed this tea at random and steeped it. It was my first yellow tea so I had no idea what to expect.
I followed the directions on the bag: 2 minutes at 175 degrees (1.6 grams in 6 oz of water). The bag said 1-2 minutes, while the web site says 2-3 minutes. If I had read the website first I would have used my usual 3 minute steep, but the tea is so strong that even 2 minutes seems a bit much.
My initial impression is that the strong roasted flavor reminds me of Kukicha. This roasted flavor, which does remind me of hazelnuts per the What-Cha tasting notes, was very strong in both the nose and the taste. I couldn’t detect the mango mentioned by What-Cha as I was drinking the tea, but after it had cooled there was about an ounce remaining in the cup and the smell was strong mango. As I drank the last of the tea, the hazelnut taste and mango aroma went back and forth. Very interesting.
The second steep was in some ways more enjoyable. The flavor was more subdued and not so obviously hazelnut. I noticed the finish more (and it was fairly nice). I didn’t notice any mango this time, even though I let it cool to nearly room temperature. Instead, the flavor took on a more heavy roasted flavor (nearly burnt).
My bottom line is complicated: I enjoyed the tea from an intellectual standpoint, as it showed different faces. However, I didn’t enjoy the flavor as much as I’d like so probably wouldn’t buy it again. On the other hand, tastes vary.