Received this sample with my YS order almost a year ago. There’s no harvest date listed but most likely it’s from 2018 so this tea is already at least 2 years old. Black teas however seem less prone to going stale the way greens and oolongs do. In my experience, they tend to lose a little of that oomph but still remain quite drinkable.

This one has a rather generic Yunnan black profile. It’s smooth with a light malty flavor and a little sweet potato though not terribly earthy. The aroma is an interesting mix of malt, tobacco, grapes, and raisins – giving a hint as to what this might have tasted like at its peak. A good tea for blending but alright otherwise.

Flavors: Grapes, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 124 ML

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky


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