Okay, I’m done after this one gets posted. I have to go to bed, and my thumbs are starting to get sore from typing on my phone. This was another of my 2020 sipdowns. I recall having very high expectations for this tea after being impressed by two previous offerings from Guranse. Sadly, it didn’t live up to those expectations, but it still turned out to be a more or less very good tea.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 fluid ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not rinse the leaves nor did I attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of pine, roasted almond, dandelion, malt, honey, and baked bread. After infusion, I picked up additional aromas of butter, cream, vanilla, muscatel, rose, and orange blossom, as well as a subtle apricot presence. The tea liquor offered notes of grass, pine, cream, butter, orange zest, malt, pear, rose, orange blossom, dandelion, dandelion greens, black cherry, blackberry, apricot, roasted almond, muscatel, baked bread, and wintergreen oil that were chased by hints of hay, spinach, vanilla, smoke, earth, red apple, and honey. Each sip finished smooth, creamy, malty, nutty, and buttery with slight astringency and a pleasant wintergreen presence that lingered in the back of the throat.
Though this was a very enjoyable offering, I did notice a few issues with it. To this point, I have noticed that Guranse’s black teas tend to produce a tea liquor that is very thin and sharp in the mouth, and this tea produced the thinnest and sharpest of the bunch. I also noticed that sometimes a few aroma and flavor components either came through a little too forcefully or were too muddled and indistinct. The balance of the tea liquor seemed perpetually off in certain small, but noticeable ways. Coupled with a thin, sharp mouthfeel that could feel almost watery at times, this little nagging issue was greatly amplified. It became very annoying very quickly because it was impossible for me to ignore. In the end, this proved to be an enjoyable and worthwhile offering, but it was the weakest of What-Cha’s Guranse black teas that I tried.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Blackberry, Bread, Butter, Cherry, Cream, Dandelion, Earth, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Pear, Pine, Rose, Smoke, Spinach, Vanilla, Vegetal