Wow! It’s been a while since I posted a review. I’ve been drinking teas I’ve already written about and wondering why I bought so many of them in 50 g packages. This is yet another 50 g pack of tea, which was harvested in 2015 (yikes!). Maybe I was intrigued to try a black Jin Xuan, or maybe I got it as a mystery tea. Who knows at this point?

I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds. I debated brewing this as an oolong and might do that in a future session.

The dry aroma is of dark chocolate, honey, and malt. These flavours appear in the first steep, along with some sourness and plant stems. The second steep has more pronounced malt, honey, cocoa, and wood notes, with a bit of dryness and a lovely cocoa aftertaste. There are slightly more dryness and tannins in the third and fourth steeps. I also find a pronounced grassy flavour that is typical in many oolongs. By the sixth steep, the chocolate starts to fade and the honey, malt, and grassy notes take over. The tannins are making this tea taste a bit metallic. The final steeps have notes of malt, tannins, minerals, and faint chocolate.

This was an enjoyable, if not very nuanced, tea that petered out quickly and had some off notes as the session progressed. The first few steeps were pretty good, though. I’m not sure how much of this is due to age, so I won’t be giving it a rating. Next time, I’ll try using longer steeps to see if I can maximize the chocolate.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Grass, Honey, Malt, Metallic, Mineral, Plant Stems, Pleasantly Sour, Tannic, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 6 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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