I realized today that I never got to the third Origins Tea sample which was sent to me a little ways back. Seemed like as good a time to brew it as ever. I hadn’t heard a lot of good things about this tea from the tea-drinkers I normally associate with. That said, I went into it with an open mind, and it turned out pretty well! I could smell the roast pretty heavily on these leaves, especially after a rinse, so that had me just a bit worried.
This tea had a bit of a nutty flavor, followed up by a finish/aftertaste which was definitely burnt tasting, but came across to me as a burnt sugar sort of taste. I can see why others might not have liked it, because it is really the most “burnt” tasting tea I’ve tried. Perhaps over-roasted. There was a little bit of fruitiness, though only really present in the later steeps once much of the roastiness had left the flavor. Around the middle of the session, the roast did get a little bit unpleasantly powerful, but not too terrible.
My verdict is that this is a decent tea, and one which I wouldn’t mind drinking every now and then, but I wouldn’t pay what Origins is selling it for. There are better Shui Xians available from other vendors for a lower price. For me the highlight of this tea was the burnt sugar finish in the early part of the session – it kind of reminded me of the crust on the top of a creme brulee.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet