I’m wistfully savouring the last of this tea, regretting that I didn’t buy a kilo of it. Since there was a little more than an average session’s worth but not enough for two, I put about 7 g of leaf in my 120 ml teapot. I steeped it at 195F for 20, 10, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

This tea is sweet, rich, and balanced. I get notes of barley sugar, honey, flowers, caramel, chestnuts, cranberries, malt, and wood. There’s a bit of astringency, especially since I stuffed so much tea in the pot, but it doesn’t detract from the deliciousness. By the third steep, notes of orange blossom, citrus, and a bit of cocoa show up, and walnut skin appears in the aftertaste.

For the next few steeps, the chestnut, honey, and fruity tartness are dominant. Even when it starts to fade, it does it elegantly, without the bitter mineral taste that later infusions of black teas seem to have.

No question, this is the best black tea I’ve had in 2017.

Flavors: Caramel, Chestnut, Citrus, Cocoa, Cranberry, Floral, Honey, Malt, Orange Blossom, Roasted Barley, Tart, Walnut

195 °F / 90 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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