Here’s a blast from the past for everyone. I realized that I still had two reviews from late October that I had yet to post on Steepster and this is the first of them. This is also the tea that started to convince me that so-called “honey aroma” teas may not be for me. They never seem honeyed enough for my taste, and to be completely honest, that was my most persistent complaint with this tea. Otherwise, it was a pretty solid, appealing Taiwanese black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves offered aromas of honey, beeswax, and straw. After the rinse, I caught new aromas of wood and malt. The first proper infusion added hints of herbs and cinnamon to the bouquet. On the palate, I found predictably mild notes of beeswax, honey, straw, wood, and malt underscored by a vague hint of nuttiness. Subsequent infusions quickly brought out notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, roasted chestnut, roasted walnut, herbs, maple syrup, malt, toast, and minerals. The later infusions were heavy on mineral notes backed by subtle hints of roasted nuts, straw, malt, and wood. I also found a few very distant honey tones on a couple of these infusions, but they were hardly all that noteworthy for me.

This struck me as being a light, smooth black tea that was perhaps most suitable for afternoon and/or evening consumption. It wasn’t bad, but as mentioned earlier, it was not as heavy on the honey as I would have preferred. Also, it faded a little faster than anticipated. In the end, it was a nice enough tea, but it was not really for me.

Flavors: Chestnut, Cinnamon, Herbs, Honey, Malt, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Nutmeg, Straw, Toast, Walnut, Wood

6 g 4 OZ / 118 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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