Yet another sample I recently polished off, this was an impulse buy shortly before it went out of stock. At the time, I was at least somewhat familiar with Yunnan purple varietal black teas and wanted to try a Wuyi counterpart of such teas. Like many Wuyi black teas, and especially many of the teas that I have tried from Li Xiangxi’s workshop, I found this to be a tasty tea, albeit one that perhaps faded too quickly for my liking.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a flash rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves/buds, in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 15 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 raisin, prune, and nutmeg. After the rinse, I caught new aromas of baked bread, cinnamon, and citrus. The first infusion introduced a touch of woodiness on the nose. The tea liquor offered notes of raisin, prune, baked bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, and roasted nuts backed by a touch of malt on the palate. Subsequent infusions brought out a little more malt accompanied by notes of red apple, ginger, clove, candied orange peel, guava, papaya, minerals, honey, pine, brown sugar, maple syrup, and separate, more distinct roasted almond and roasted chestnut impressions. At one point, I also caught a fleeting fig note. The later infusions were fairly heavy on the minerals, but I could still pick up rather vague impressions of roasted nuts and malt as well as hints of fruit and mellow spices.
As mentioned above, this was a tasty tea, and I did find more complexity than anticipated, but like most of the Wuyi black teas I have tried, it faded a little faster than I would have liked. To be fair, that’s less of a knock on this particular tea and more a critique of many Wuyi black teas in general. They just do not often seem to have the longevity of some of their oolong counterparts. When this tea was good, it was really good, but I also cannot see myself reaching for it or a tea like it with any sort of regularity. Still, I think fans of traditional Chinese black teas would be rather pleased with this one.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Clove, Dried Fruit, Fig, Fruity, Ginger, Guava, Malt, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange, Pine, Raisins, Red Apple