Purchased as part of the Eco-Cha Tea Club sometime in 2016, this hongcha has spent too long in my tea museum. Its flavours are very soft and hard to coax out, and I have a feeling that’s due to age. I also laughed at the description of this as small leaf black tea, as the leaves of this tea are wiry and huge! I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 20, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 180 seconds.
The dry aroma is of rye bread, wood, honey, and cherries. The first steep has notes of rye bread, honey, malt, wood, minerals, and tannins, with aromas of cherry and raspberry that don’t make it into the cup. Mild raspberry appears in steeps two and three, and there’s a pronounced honey aftertaste. There could be some sugarcane in there too. The next couple steeps add raisins and spices. The tea fades into rye bread, wood, tannins, and minerals.
I wish I’d tried this tea when it wasn’t over six years old! It has some characteristics I associate with Taiwanese Assam (though I’m not sure this is actually an Assam tea), but I’ll be happy to see it leave my cupboard.
Flavors: Bread, Cherry, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Raisins, Raspberry, Rye, Spices, Sugarcane, Tannin, Wood