The dry leaves are big, brown, and twisty with some golden buds mixed in. BIG sweet raisiny aroma from the bag.
Brews up mild and lightly sweet with notes of raisin, malty oats, and a slightly oceanic thick, brothy quality. It has a thick, oily mouthfeel similar to a good sheng. It also seems to have a bit of a “qi” like a good sheng. Interesting that the other wild arbor blacks that I’ve tried didn’t have this quality. The flavor reminds me a bit of a generic Assam black, but with almost none of the bitterness.
The more tea that I drink, the more I find that while tea quality is a fairly objective matter, preferences in individual taste and strength are highly subjective and the qualities that people judge their tea by vary greatly.
This is definitely a high quality and interesting tea, but the flavor profile and mild nature aren’t quite to my personal tastes. While nice and pretty unobjectionable, I find it a bit boring. I can see though how this might be a phenomenal brew for some.
Flavors: Malt, Oats, Ocean Breeze, Raisins