I bought this tea last year in my infamous Black Friday What-Cha haul. I kind of wish I’d purchased their Jin Guan Yin as well, given that I like the one from Camellia Sinensis. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of dark chocolate, peanuts, rye bread, flowers, honey, and faint, tangy stonefruit. The first steep has notes of honey, peanuts, rye bread, dark chocolate, wood, and apricot. The second is more earthy, though I also get florals, peach, apricot, and lots of peanuts and chocolate. The tangy stonefruit and slightly sour aftertaste remind me of Tie Guan Yin, though that might be my imagination. (I also need to try plain osmanthus flowers, which Derk detected in this tea, so I know what they taste like!)
The third steep gives me an herbaceous note that I could also, like Derk, describe as menthol, but is mostly honey, wood, hay, rye bread, and chocolate. The next few steeps are all about the chocolate, peanut, honey, and rye bread, with hints of peach, apricot, molasses, and florals. The body is quite viscous and the aftertaste is long. I let the seventh and eighth steeps cool to almost room temperature and I see where Derk is getting cherry, and I get more of the tangy stonefruit as well. The session ends with notes of honey, hay, peanuts, wood, earth, and minerals.
This tea offers many of the flavours I like and has the chocolate note I associate with Fujian black teas. I’m not sure why I haven’t given it a higher rating, though maybe it’s because of its woodiness or the fact that it doesn’t change much over the session. Nonetheless, I’ll have no trouble finishing the rest of the bag and would consider buying more given its affordable price point.
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Menthol, Mineral, Molasses, Peach, Peanut, Rye, Sour, Stonefruit, Tangy, Wood