Teabox Tuesday! This is a pretty old tea now, which I’m sure has impacted the flavor, but I enjoy Chinese blacks so I’m hoping it still has a bit of life left in it. I got this sample from the Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and to all those involved who were nice enough to share their teas! I haven’t used my baby gaiwan much, so I decided to use it for this session.
2.54g / 50ml gaiwan / 205F / Rinse|15s|20s|30s|45s|60s|90s
After I rinsed the tea, the leaf had a very malty aroma, with a slight hint of raisins. The first steep brought out aromas of malt, toast, burnt sugar, and orange rind. The tea was a rather strong black with a malty taste with notes of burnt toast and smoke and a bit of citrus rind in the finish, with medium astringency after the sip, especially on the back of the tongue, and I felt a slight puckering effect. The tea proceeded to become a bit sweeter in the next few infusions, with more molasses/burnt sugar and citrus orange aroma coming to the forefront, with the orange scent becoming very strong by the third and fourth infusions. The flavor continued to be very malty and toasty with a lot of roast/smoke in the finish, but the astringency started to mellow with more of an orange flavor left in the aftertaste on the tongue. By the fourth steep the tea was starting to taste a bit one-note and by the fifth steep I could tell the flavor was diminishing; on the sixth steep it was very weak and washed out so I finished my session there. I’m going to assume that the age of the tea likely had to do with it not having much staying power. I enjoyed the flavor for what it did still have left to give. It reminded me a lot of an Assam/Keemun breakfast tea blend, actually!
Flavors: Astringent, Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Citrus, Malt, Orange, Orange Zest, Smoke, Toast