I indulged in some retail therapy over the stressful pre-holiday period, and this tea was included as a free sample with my order. I remember enjoying this tea a few years ago and am happy to revisit it. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain pot using 195F water for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

I opened the sample bag to sniff it before reading the label and mistook it for a Bai Hao, which is a compliment in my books. The dry aroma is of apricot, plum, muscatel, cocoa, and honey. The first steep has lush notes of apricot, peach, plum, muscatel, honey, pastry, osmanthus, and malt. The honeyed fruit continues into the second steep, with some malt and wood. The next couple steeps are heavy on the apricot and plum, with a nice pastry and floral background and some wood and malt to balance things out. The honey is particularly noticeable in the next couple steeps, along with the pastry and fruit. The tea doesn’t change too much, but wow, do I like these flavours. By the eighth steep, the malt and gentle tannins become more prominent. The final few steeps emphasize honey, malt, earth, grass, and tannins.

This tea is as pleasant as I remember it being a few years ago. It’s an excellent substitute for fruit cake for those who don’t actually like fruit cake. I gave it an extra point over my previous rating because I like this flavour combo so much.

Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Earth, Floral, Grass, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Osmanthus, Pastries, Peach, Plum, Sweet, Tannin, 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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