Here is yet another tea review from the backlog, this one coming to you from mid-late June. Like many of the black teas I have tried from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company, I found this to be a quality offering, though I do have to admit that I have had better and more memorable teas of this type. I found this particular tea to be very mild, mellow, and smooth and unfortunately somewhat lacking in the expected assamica punchiness.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 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, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of malt, honey, toast, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted nuts, butter, and cream. The first infusion introduced a more definite roasted peanut scent and a little woodiness to the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of malt, cream, toast, butter, honey, roasted peanut, wood, roasted walnut, and sweet potato. Subsequent infusions brought subtle aromas of cocoa, brown sugar, and molasses to the nose. New notes of molasses, orange zest, raisin, brown sugar, cocoa, and minerals appeared in the mouth alongside a subtle earthiness and hints of fig. The final infusions emphasized lingering malt, mineral, cream, wood, and orange zest notes that were underscored by traces of cocoa, roasted walnut, and brown sugar.
As mentioned in my introductory paragraph, this was a very mild, mellow black tea. It lacked bitterness and astringency in the mouth, making it very easy to drink. I also noted that the leaves were gorgeous; indeed, this tea was obviously the result of a high quality picking. Unfortunately, this tea was also just not that memorable to experience. It failed to leave much of an impression on me. I enjoyed it while I was drinking it, but aside from its ridiculous smoothness, it did not stand out much from some of the other teas of this type I have tried.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cocoa, Cream, Earth, Fig, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Walnut, Wood