My free “press” samples from Yunomi.us came! I was very excited to see a black tea, as I’ve been curious about Japanese black teas but have never tried one. The leaves are small and very fragile-looking, and they’re curled up into little loops and ‘u’ shapes. The color is a rich dark reddish brown with some grey in it. Dry, it smells like musty hay with some malt and honey mixed in. I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once brewed, this tea smells quite malty with an interesting almost grassy note to it, accompanied by grain and honey. The flavor here is kind of hard to describe, especially since it seems to change a lot during the sip. But I’m going to try to describe it anyway! Initially, it tastes like musty hay and is quite brisk (I think I may have overleafed a tad as at one point it’s almost bitter). At the same time, there’s a bit of a grassy quality and some astringency. Toward the middle of the sip, the flavor transforms into this luscious and creamy bread amazingness! Lovely sweet, crusty bread with creamy honey over the top and a touch of mild fruity preserves. The aftertaste is all creamy bread and honey, and it lingers for some time. I am very curious to see how this tea turns out using an actual teaspoon of tea instead of my heaping variety. I might try a lower temperature too, as the packet recommends 195 degrees.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Biting, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Grass, Hay, Honey, Honeysuckle, Jam, Malt, Musty, Sweet, Toast