Black tea craving and super gaiwan usage recently which pairs this and my new dragon gaiwan up very nicely. I found this tea at the back of my cupboard from my last Infussion tea order not long before it closed down.
The raw leaves are a beautiful mixture of brown shades with golden tips being roughly 3/4 of what is present, those being very shiny and reflective. I do love shiny leaves. They are quite long with a rough average of 6mm, though some are straight while others are curly so it’s hard to tell specifically. Sniff-spection reveals a strong wooden scent with a hint of smoke. Very thick scent, was surprising. Perhaps one of the ‘darkest’ golden tips that I have tried, it smells more like full leaf Dian Hong ie not sweet or creamy like the golden tips I know and love.
First Steep – 15 seconds
It also tastes as strongly wooden and smoky as it smells. Despite a short 15 second steep It’s already very strong, just like a main steep. It does have some sweetness in the after taste but very mild against the smoke.
Second Steep – 25 seconds
Still heavily smoky but now increasing in flavour, adding a dry nutty flavour present in the after taste. Like roast chestnut.
Third Steep – 45 seconds
A little astringency has now appeared behind the smoke. Still getting strong roast chestnuts. The sweetness has vanished.
Fourth Steep – 70 seconds
Lighter in thickness and a little less smoky than previous steeps but I would still say it’s the main flavour. Pure smoke and smoky chestnuts…nice but not what I expected at all.
Fifth Steep – 90 seconds
Similar to the first steep, all that remains is burnt wood.
Overall – This was like no other golden tips I have tried before. I expected malt, sweetness, raisins and cream…instead I got smoke, burnt wood and roast chestnuts. Definiately more like Dian Hong full leaf than the golden tip in flavour. What I saw looked like golden tips (mostly) but it tasted like Lapsang Souchong and Dian Hong. It was nice but not what was expected. Not sure if this got contaminated on their end? It was unopened and still sealed my end and was not near anything open. Very strange.