Here is yet another review from the backlog. I wrote a preliminary tasting note for this tea way back on October 23rd, but never got around to posting a review here on Steepster. Much like the Old Tree Wuyi Gongfu Black from Verdant Tea that I tried about a year or so ago, I found this to be a very good, reliable black tea, maybe not the sort of tea I would reach for regularly, but still nice nonetheless.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a flash rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 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 produced aromas of honey, toast, cocoa, and malt underscored by some hints of spice. The rinse released new aromas of yeast rolls, roasted nuts, and rock sugar. The first infusion released a clearly defined touch of ginger on the nose. In the mouth, I found notes of honey, cocoa, and toast on the entry that were soon balanced by notes of roasted nuts, malt, and ginger. Additional flavors of rock sugar and yeast roll emerged just prior to the finish. Subsequent infusions predictably brought out stronger yeast roll and rock sugar notes as well as impressions of moss, cinnamon, pine, cedar, minerals, and wet stones. I occasionally noted some tobacco and vanilla impressions too. The later infusions were dominated by lingering notes of minerals, malt, moss, wet stones, and earth balanced by a subtle honey flavor.
I generally like the teas Li Xiangxi offers through Verdant Tea and this one was no exception. Though I have had somewhat better Wuyi black teas, this was still a nice tea. I would have liked to see a little more thickness in the mouth and a little more longevity though. Still, this tea was well worth the purchase. I would have no real issue with recommending it to fans of traditional Chinese black teas.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Ginger, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Pine, Roasted Nuts, Sugar, Toast, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wet Rocks