On my second box of this. Bought the first one a few years ago and drank straight through it. Really dug it. I remembered it solely as “that tea I dank through really really quickly”, but didn’t remember what about it was so appealing.
This second box I bought about two months ago. After sampling straight from the mail, it went into a mylar bag with 69% bovedas. I don’t know if this tea had sat in YS’s Kunming or Seattle storage, but it was bone dry.
1st impressions: Cherry wood, smoke, peat, vanilla, clove, some green/herbal notes. Really love the aroma of Tian Jians. If I had the money to make it a habit, I’d be buying these by the basket. The taste is pretty minerally to start with a sharp green herbal note in the background. The best thing to compare these to is a roasted oolong. It has that roasted taste with the sweet spice and green profile.
Finishing: The small tippy leaves brew out relatively quickly (relative to other hei cha, they last quite awhile compared to hong cha). The texture is a bit thicker than when I first got it in the mail, but still not remarkable. Being a tippy tea, this can get really astringent and bitter if you aren’t careful. When brewing carefully you get a little astringency and a nice solid cocoa bitterness in the background.
Overall a well balanced, comfortable tea. I’d recommend it of you wanted to explore the world of Tian Jian and can find this box for a decent price. The price on this has been shooting up lately and I’m seeing it less in listings.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Clove, Cocoa, Mineral, Peat, Roasted, Smoke, Tobacco, Vanilla