I started out with this tea on the current nice fall morning. Dropping temperatures were pretty sudden here in Michigan from the humid 87-90 F weather last week to the temperate and chilly 72 and 60s this week.
I gong fu’d it this morning, and I’ve tumblered/grandpa’d it over the past few months. It did pretty nicely gong fu, but wasn’t too different western. Grandpa yielded a lot of smoothed out chocolate cherry flavor when I went medium to light leafwise, and gong fu added a little bit more bitterness and dryness. The previous review nailed the drying hay quality the tea sometimes has. This time, the chocolate notes were more along the lineso of dark chocolate, and the berry notes were bordering on jammy. I’ve been tempted to put blueberry as one. I usually am careful with “jammy” teas because they tend to be a little bit more astringent like in a ceylon or Assam category, but it works with the chocolate and caramel notes insanely well.
The tea really didn’t last beyond four steeps. It’s still a comfort tea that hits all the right spots for my palette in black teas. I’m not sure what to rate it. I can see a rating in the 80s because it’s a daily black that’s not super complex or long lasting, but in terms of flavor and aroma, this is almost a 100. I basically rate teas based on whether or not it serves the purpose I got it for, and I think this is one of the few cheaper versatile blacks I’ve gotten that hits the high notes of more expensive teas.
Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Hay, Honey, Jam, Malt, Smooth, Sweet