This was yet another June sipdown. I only had a 10g sample pouch of this tea, and if memory serves, I drank it sometime around the end of the third week in June. I’ve developed a greater appreciation for Taiwanese black teas over the course of this year, and I was itching to try this one because it was a black tea from the heart of Baozhong country. I found it to be an excellent if often subtle black tea, one that was more or less perfect for afternoon or evening sipping.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased 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 emitted aromas of honey, wood, and straw. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of baked bread and roasted almond. The first infusion then introduced a definite scent of pine as well as roasted peanut. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of honey, straw, pine, roasted peanut, baked bread, and roasted almond. Subsequent infusions offered new aromas of butter, cream, and caramel, though later in the session, I began to note a clean mineral presence on the nose coupled with a petrichor-like quality. Notes of minerals, cedar, and cinnamon appeared in the mouth along with subtle hints of date, raisin, and sweet potato. The later infusions emphasized mineral, pine, cream, and roasted almond impressions that were underscored by lingering honey and raisin hints.
This was a smooth black tea with particularly pleasant woody, nutty, creamy, buttery, and fruity qualities. Due to it being so mellow and lacking noticeable bitterness and astringency, I could see it making a wonderful introduction to Taiwanese black teas for the curious drinker. Though some of Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s recent black tea offerings have been hit or miss for me, I was impressed by this one.
Flavors: Almond, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cream, Dates, Honey, Mineral, Peanut, Pine, Raisins, Straw, Sweet Potatoes