Since I have just finished posting a review of Yunnan Sourcing’s spring 2018 Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun and I am not completely exhausted, I figured I may as well go ahead and post this review as a companion piece to that one. I finished what I had of this tea immediately after I finished that aforementioned Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun Yunnan Black Tea. The two were very similar, and quite frankly, I found them both to have the same glaring flaws. Of the two, though, this one struck me as being the better tea overall.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled leaf and bud sets in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dried tea leaves and buds emitted aromas of malt, cinnamon, baked bread, molasses, pine, chocolate, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of smoke, roasted peanut, and roasted almond. The first infusion introduced aromas of roasted walnut as well as a subtle honey scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, baked bread, roasted almond, roasted peanut, and geranium that were balanced by hints of marshmallow, cream, chocolate, honey, roasted walnut, and sugarcane. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of marshmallow, grass, geranium, earth, geranium, and orange zest as well as stronger scents of chocolate, malt, and baked bread. Pine, molasses, cinnamon, and smoke notes came out in the mouth alongside stronger and more immediately detectable impressions of marshmallow, cream, chocolate, and roasted walnut. Notes of minerals, earth, orange zest, grass, cooked green beans, butter, and raisin also emerged. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, raisin, pine, butter, baked bread, and earth that were balanced by hints of roasted almond, sugarcane, orange zest, roasted walnut, marshmallow, cream, roasted peanut, and honey.
This was a smooth Yunnan bi luo chun black tea that offered up exactly what you would expect of a tea of this type and nothing more. Compared to the Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun black tea that I tried before it, this one was not as complex, but it expressed itself a little more clearly in the mouth and produced a tea liquor that was slightly thicker and fuller. Both teas were still a little lacking in terms of clarity, weight, depth, and definition, but of the two, this one was slightly better. As I said with the other tea, I would not advise someone to avoid this offering, but there are better examples of this style out there.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Geranium, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Sugarcane, Walnut