TeaTiff was nice enough to send me a generous sample of this tea. It says on their website that this tea is from Yunnan, but the leaves look Taiwanese to me. They have that long, twisty, spindly look and they’re quite dark. Smells strongly of dry, unsweetened cocoa and honey with some maltiness.
Initially, I followed the directions on Hugo Tea’s website and steeped for 4 minutes. The aroma was malty with honey, but there was also a kind of peppery, herbaceous quality that reminded me of fennel seed. And it turns out, that’s exactly what it tastes like too! Very similar to pumpernickel or rye bread with a strong fennel seed taste, along with some malt and an aftertaste of dry cocoa. Wow, this tea is so unique-tasting! I kept taking sips just to experience the fennel phenomenon again!
After reading some of the notes on here, I decided to also try a 3 minute steep since a lot of people did that and mentioned more chocolate and caramel notes. Aroma was more cocoa and honey and less fennel this time. It definitely tasted less fennel-y, but I didn’t really find a lot more cocoa or honey in there. So I definitely prefer the 4 minute steep! And it’s much more honeyed with just a small amount of sugar. Pumpernickel bread with honey smeared over the top, mmmm!
Flavors: Cocoa, Fennel Seed, Honey, Malt, Rye