I feel like I have been away from Steepster for way too long. Fortunately, I have not been drinking a ton of different teas as I have been focused on finishing some of teas of which I purchased larger amounts. This was one of my more recent sipdowns; I think I finished what I had of this tea last week. Though I tend to greatly enjoy Nepalese black teas, I have yet to find a Nepalese golden tip black tea that absolutely captivates me. Clearly, this one did not do that.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. At least a couple people had suggested that I try to gongfu either a Nepalese black tea or a Darjeeling black tea, and I finally decided to give it a shot. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 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 produced aromas of malt, baked bread, chocolate, honey, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I picked up aromas of roasted almond, brown sugar, violet, and banana. The first infusion introduced aromas of rose, orange zest, roasted peanut, and raisin. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, sweet potato, brown sugar, banana, and roasted almond that were backed by hints of rose, honey, chocolate, and orange zest. The subsequent infusions saw the previously mentioned floral aromas become more dominant on the nose, while new aromas of lemon zest and pine also made themselves known. The tea liquor presented much stronger and more immediate notes of rose, honey, chocolate, and orange zest. Baked bread, raisin, and violet notes belatedly emerged, and new impressions of minerals, pine, molasses, caramel, cream, earth, and lemon zest also appeared. I even managed to pick out some hints of roasted peanut, plum, juniper, raspberry, and black cherry. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, cream, caramel, pine, malt, and earth notes that were balanced by more delicate impressions of raisin, baked bread, brown sugar, honey, sweet potato, and orange zest.
This black tea displayed some lovely aromas and flavors, but I found it to fade rather quickly. Many of its most appealing characteristics also displayed a tendency to blend together, creating a muddled rush of flavors in the mouth and thus a drinking experience frequently lacking in dynamism. All of this being said, this tea did display a lovely body and great texture in the mouth and had enough to offer in the flavor department to be satisfying. Furthermore, its energy was just right as it was neither too weak nor too strong. Overall, I found this tea to be more or less solid. I have had better teas of this type, but I would be willing to try a future production of this one (if one were to ever be offered) and would not caution others to avoid it. In the end, a score of 75 feels about right to me.
Flavors: Almond, banana, Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate, Cream, Earth, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Plum, Raisins, Raspberry, Rose, Sweet Potatoes, Violet