I’m still going through the backlog, but I’m making considerable progress in clearing it out. After I post this review, I will only have three teas left from September, and so far, I only have five teas to review from this month. It may seem sad, but I have had neither the time nor the motivation to drink much tea lately. This has been due to me kind of being on a big health kick. I’m trying to sleep more, take in fewer calories, avoid junk foods, stick to a meal schedule, and work out much more frequently. I just suddenly got sick of feeling like crap and being down on myself and realized that I needed to shake up my routine in order to improve both my body and my mind. Unfortunately, I spent the better part of the last five years settling into this netherworld of just being out of shape enough to develop a few health concerns and feel bad all the time, but not so much that I looked all that unhealthy, and I am now trying to do something about it. A lot of the time that I would have previously spent sipping tea and writing is now being spent exercising and working around my house, so the backlog is growing much more slowly than it was over the summer. Anyway, this was one of the last teas I drank in September. I only had a sample pouch of it, so I could not play around with it much, but I still found it to be a very good Wuyi black tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 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, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, peach, and tangerine. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of malt, roasted almond, and baked bread. The first infusion introduced a buttery scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of honey, peach, and tangerine that quickly faded to reveal impressions of malt, baked bread, and roasted almond. Subsequent infusions introduced subtle aromas of cream, chocolate, orange zest, and brown sugar. New impressions of minerals, cream, chocolate, and orange zest appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging butter notes and hints of sweet potato and orchid. The final few infusions offered lingering mineral, tangerine, roasted almond, malt, and orange zest notes that were backed by hints of honey, peach, and butter.
Of the black teas I have tried from Old Ways Tea, this was neither the deepest nor the most complex, but it was a very pleasant, engaging black tea with nice texture and very respectable longevity compared to some of the other Wuyi black teas I have tried. I could see it making either a wonderful introduction to the world of Wuyi black tea or a great daily drinker for those who prefer sweet, fruity black teas. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this tea and would have no issues with recommending it to curious drinkers.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Chocolate, Citrus, Cream, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Sweet Potatoes