Alright, I have been lazy long enough. It’s time to get some more reviews out of the way in order to keep the number of backlogged reviews from growing any larger. This was one of my sipdowns from the second half of April. I know I tend to display a considerable fondness for the teas produced by Jun Chiyabari, so it should perhaps come as no surprise that I thought this tea was great. I was a little shocked that it did not get a warmer reception on Steepster.
I prepared this tea in the Western style, but I modified my usual brewing approach somewhat for this tea. I normally do not rinse teas from Nepal, Assam, and Darjeeling, but I opted to do so here simply because I did not get much out of the dry leaf material. I only rinsed the leaf material for 5 seconds, but the rinse revealed a tremendous number of new aromas. After the rinse, I steeped my 3 grams of leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of chocolate and malt. After the rinse, I detected aromas of orange zest, black cherry, violet, baked bread, plum, and Muscatel. The 5 minute infusion introduced aromas of nutmeg, cream, clove, licorice, and anise. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, baked bread, malt, black cherry, violet, plum, Muscatel, orange zest, grass, straw, nutmeg, licorice, anise, clove, and chocolate that were backed by hints of smoke, roasted almond, roasted walnut, blackberry, blueberry, and dried cranberry. Pleasant spice and tart fruit impressions lingered in the mouth after the swallow and were accompanied by somewhat subtler malty, smoky, nutty, and chocolaty notes.
In my opinion, this was a more or less fantastic Nepalese black tea. Jun Chiyabari rarely if ever lets me down, and they certainly did not manage to do so with this offering. My only real quibble with this tea was that I found the body of the tea liquor to be a bit thin. That was seriously the only thing I could find to knock. At this point, I will also add that I found this tea to be very forgiving and flexible in the brewing process. It did not display a tendency to get bitter or astringent quickly, and I also found that this tea was capable of producing multiple satisfying infusions when brewed in the Western style as long as one started with a slightly shorter initial steep than I did during the bulk of my time with it. Overall, this was an impressive tea. I do not mind giving it a higher numerical score than previous reviewers because I feel that it earned that privilege.
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Cherry, Chocolate, Clove, Cranberry, Cream, Grass, Licorice, Malt, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Plum, Smoke, Straw, Violet, Walnut