94

This was one of my sipdowns from August for which I have been needing to post a review. I’ve been polishing off some of the teas that I have had in storage at a steady rate and have unfortunately fallen behind on posting reviews. At this point, all I can really say to introduce my review of this tea is that it was one of the better teas I consumed last month. Actually, this was a very nice Yunnan black tea overall.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 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, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, roasted almond, straw, pine, smoke, malt, and strawberry. After the rinse, I detected a new roasted peanut aroma. The first infusion brought out scents of sugarcane and orange zest. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of honey, cream, pine, malt, orange zest, roasted almond, and strawberry that were backed by hints of smoke, roasted peanut, sugarcane, and straw. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of black currant, violet, blackberry, blueberry, Asian pear, lemon zest, butter, and dark chocolate. Notes of minerals, black cherry, blackberry, black currant, butter, plum, violet, blueberry, Asian pear, dark chocolate, and lemon zest appeared in the mouth alongside stronger and more immediately apparent impressions of straw and smoke and hints of earth, red apple, and baked bread. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, cream, butter, roasted almond, orange zest, lemon zest, and malt notes that were complimented by hints of pine, plum, Asian pear, red apple, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, sugarcane, and roasted peanut.

This was an incredibly fun, vibrant black tea that was very approachable and easy to drink despite its respectable depth and complexity. A lot of Yunnan black teas can go heavy on the herbal, woody, creamy, buttery, bready, nutty, and malty notes, but this one was full of rich, sweet fruity impressions that set it apart from many of the other Yunnan black teas I have encountered. Fans of sweeter, fruitier teas would probably really dig this one. Heck, I enjoyed it tremendously and I’m not even all that huge on sweeter teas.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Currant, Blackberry, Blueberry, Butter, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Honey, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Plums, Red Apple, Smoke, Straw, Strawberry, Sugarcane, Violet

Preparation
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.

Location

KY

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