I tossed a couple little packets of this Heicha into a Yunnan Sourcing order I made a few months back, and one of them just surfaced in my sample box. After drinking it, I’m sad to say they’re gone on Yunnan Sourcing’s site – it was a very interesting and tasty tea. The dry leaf had a pungent prune or other dried fruit smell. The aroma was largely unchanged after a rinse, with a bit of maltiness entering the mix as well.
The flavor was pretty out there – I got a lot of that same sour dried fruitiness, I’m gonna call it prunes, throughout the session. The first steep was prunes and dried cherries with a slight cooling mouthfeel. I haven’t ever tasted a tea that was much of anything like that first steep. It was like everything I always hope for (and have never gotten) when black teas are labeled as “fruity.” Nice and bright flavor.
I didn’t taste the cherry after that first steep, but the rest of the session was nice as well. It got a touch of bittersweet chocolate to it, with the fruit a little more distant in the finish, but still quite there and quite pruney. The chocolate vibe only lasted through around steep 4, but even once it was gone, the tea retained a bit of a bittersweet note to it which I couldn’t pin down.
Compared to a lot of the puerh and stuff I drink, this one didn’t have quite the longevity – I got 8 steeps out of it, and the last two were pretty diminished. Despite that, I would buy up a lot more of this tea in a heartbeat if it were available. The single-session packaging and affordability make it a no brainer for such an interesting tea. I really need to try some more Tian Jian and other heicha…haven’t had great experience with Liu Bao, but these other heicha have been nice.
This one kind of reminded me of a really funky and whacked out black tea – like black tea’s psycho cousin. I liked it a lot.
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Sweet