Sunday, January 17, 2010

Norbu Tea Imperial Dian Hong Yunnan Black Tea - Spring 09

Photo: Norbu Tea
The leaves of this tea were long and needle shaped with various shades of brown. They had a sweet and malty aroma typical of yunnan teas. I prepared this tea gong fu style, with a gaiwan and boiling water. According to Norbu, the whole leaf and bud were hand picked, processed, and rolled by hand in the Spring Harvest period of 2009. The resulting tea maintained the same aroma and had a light mahogany color.

I struggled to describe this tea because it had a depth that I have not often found in black teas. It had a thick and creamy mouth feeling but went down smoothly. The taste was pleasantly rich and complex. It lasted several infusions, each one a little less astringent than the last. The leaves took some time to completely unfurl, reminding me of a dan cong oolong. I have been impressed by every Norbu offering I have tried thus far. I am not much of a black tea drinker but I would definitely recommend this tea.

It seems I’ve gotten lucky with this recent batch of samples, I don’t think there has been a single one that I didn’t enjoy.