I finished the last of this tea yesterday afternoon. I had hoped to post a review for it last night, but ended up spending more time than planned on my review of What-Cha’s Vietnam Gui Fei and never got around to it. I found this to be a decent, though rather boring black tea.

I prepared this tea Western style. I steeped around 3 grams (roughly the equivalent of 1 teaspoon) of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted mild woody, malty aromas. After infusion, the bright amber tea liquor produced pronounced aromas of malt, citrus, molasses, toast, nuts, and wood. In the mouth, the tea opened with the expected notes of caramel, toast, malt, and molasses before rougher notes of black walnut, hickory, wood, and bitter orange peel took over the proceedings.

To me, this was nothing more and nothing less than a typical Assam. I have had worse, but I have also had far better. I think what hurt this one so much in my eyes was the lack of layering displayed by the individual flavor components. I know some may feel differently, but what I got was a crude juxtaposition of smoothness and sweetness up front and bitter, oily nuttiness, bitter citrus, and chewy woodiness on the back end. Aside from traces of malt, toast, and molasses that peeked through on the finish, there was virtually no integration between these two opposing sides. In the end, I could see this making an adequate breakfast tea, but that’s about it. If you are looking for a tea to enjoy on its own, you may want to look elsewhere.

Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Molasses, Nutty, Orange, Toast, Walnut

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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