Still trying to get the hang of brewing black tea. I’m finding my usual lazy method of 1 tsp of tea for 3 minutes doesn’t work for every tea. I western steeped this tea my first couple of sessions and it was a total fail. The smell alone was enough to trigger my gag reflex. Some teas are designed for gongfu and this is one of them.
I eventually decided to follow Verdant’s method and steeped 3.6g of leaf in a 160ml pot using water just off the boil. First steep was for 15s and I added 10s to each subsequent steep. On the nose, there’s a faint aroma of vanilla and smoke. The wet leaf is smokey cacao nibs. Like most of Verdant’s blacks, this tea has a wonderful rich chocolate flavor that early on coats your entire mouth with its sweet lusciousness. I detected notes of bread and unusual fruity overtones that I could’t quite place. I would describe them as overripe fruit. Verdant’s tasting notes for this are all over the place…berries, rose, angel food cake, buttercream, turkish delight, etc.. Mayyybe. I find their tasting profile can be a stretch sometimes. The only one of their descriptors I could pick out was a hint of buttercream frosting in the finish.
This was an interesting black tea. It started with an intense chocolate explosion and went on to develop a distinct, complex flavor that evolved with each steeping. That said, some of the flavors in this tea weren’t quite up my alley. Glad I got to try it, but I still prefer the Classic Laoshan black tea.
Flavors: Butter, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Smoke, Vanilla