Okay, I’m finally getting back on here after more than a week away from writing. The new schedule is still killing me, but I suppose I am slowly adapting to it. Aside from still being in the process of adjusting to my new work schedule, I am also still plowing my way through a number of spring 2018 black teas. This was one of my sipdowns from the second half of last month. I found it to be a very good offering overall. It actually struck me as being a little bit better than the rock solid spring 2017 Big Snow Mountain of Mengku Black Tea that I tried last year.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cinnamon, raisin, plum, honey, and black raspberry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, malt, black pepper, banana, and pine. The first infusion introduced a subtle eucalyptus scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, baked bread, malt, roasted almond, cocoa, roasted peanut, cinnamon, and pine that were balanced by hints of raisin, plum, pear, cedar, honey, black raspberry, and banana. The bulk of the subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of cocoa, cedar, cream, butter, pear, red apple, orange zest, and sweet potato. Stronger and more immediately detectable impressions of cedar, raisin, banana, pear, and plum appeared in the mouth alongside mineral, eucalyptus, black pepper, red apple, sweet potato, earth, butter, orange zest, and caramel notes. I also picked up on hints of leather, lemon zest, and roasted walnut. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, cream, baked bread, butter, roasted almond, and roasted peanut that were chased by fleeting hints of pine, honey, caramel, sweet potato, raisin, orange zest, and cocoa.

As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, this was a rock solid Mengku black tea. I particularly appreciated its fruity characteristics, and compared to the previous version of this tea, this offering produced a liquor that displayed better and more consistent body and texture in the mouth. Even though this tea fell just shy of excellence for me, it was still very good. It was definitely one of the better Mengku black teas I have tried.

Flavors: Almond, Black Pepper, Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Plum, Raisins, Raspberry, Red Apple, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

It’s always nice to get back into a routine. This tea sounds tasty! I’ve not prepared anything gonfu style before, but the flavours that you taste sound amazing!

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It’s always nice to get back into a routine. This tea sounds tasty! I’ve not prepared anything gonfu style before, but the flavours that you taste sound amazing!

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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