It’s time to get one of my few remaining August reviews out of the way. I think I finished my pouch of this tea either shortly before my injury or at the end of the month when I was about done recovering. I recall it taking awhile for me to get used to this tea. I was expecting something a lot more boisterous and powerful, but instead got something that was very layered and sophisticated with tremendous depth and complexity.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 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 produced aromas of honey, plum, raisin, and cinnamon. After the rinse, I detected aromas of malt, toast, caramel, roasted almond, and blackberry. The first infusion allowed hints of cream and butter to shine through on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, cream, honey, raisin, plum, blackberry, roasted almond, date, and black grape that were accented by hints of butter. Subsequent infusions saw cocoa, pear, sweet cherry, date, vanilla, and black grape aromas emerge. In the mouth, I found belatedly emerging impressions of cinnamon, toast, and caramel accompanied by notes of minerals, wood, cocoa, pear, vanilla, sweet cherry, red apple, and powdered sugar. The final few infusions emphasized lingering notes of minerals, malt, wood, and cream that were underscored by delicate impressions of roasted almond, blackberry, raisin, and honey.

This was an incredibly nice Taiwanese black tea. There is not much more I can say about it. If you are looking for a black tea that offers wonderful aromatics as well as tremendous flavor, body, and texture, then this is your tea.

Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Butter, Caramel, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Dates, Grapes, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Pear, Plums, Raisins, Red Apple, Sugar, Toast, Vanilla, 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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