This is the first tea I’m trying from Taiwan Sourcing’s ‘Summer 2015 Black and Oolong’ sampler pack. I’ve been steeping it in different ways over the last couple of days, and I’ve found my perfect cup at about 5-6g with 1-minute steeps in boiling water in my 200ml Yixing pot.

It’s a beautiful mellow cup, with warm, honey-like sweetness and a soft, silky mouthfeel. It has a very mild fresh lemon astringency, and the scent of the liquor and wet leaves is a gorgeous combination of honey and baking bread.

Steeped for 1-minute steeps, it’s smooth and mellow; steeped for 2 minutes, it becomes very bold and has a much darker black-tea taste; coppery and a bit malty – it does taste a little over-steeped with the longer time, but still quite well balanced between astringent and smoothly sweet.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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The argument had raged for months and years; he would say something hurtful and cruel, and then I would shoot back a likewise response. The good cups and a beautiful clay teapot were in shards all over the kitchen floor; tomato ketchup dripped from the balustrades, and the cat, named in honour of the great Richard ‘Kinky’ Friedman, was making a mew of distaste. And so, after wrestling with the mathematics of it for many, many sleepless nights, I realised that no-one would, in fact, be able to qualify or quantify the difference between an 87-rated tea and an 86, so I stopped rating tea.

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