Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: dark and twisted leaves, some stems.
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 203 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep reddish amber
When I first got into tea, Oriental Beauty was the only bug bitten tea that was readily available. Since then we’ve seen a proliferation of “concubine oolong” and other newly developed varieties. Honey black teas are definitely my favorites among all of them. Insects leave tiny holes in the leaves as they feed, triggering the plant’s natural defense mechanisms. The chemicals involved also have an effect on the aromas that we experience in the cup after the tea has been processed. in this case of black tea, this can introduce some truly amazing honey notes without adding any additional flavoring.
Tea Repertoire generously sent me three different honey black teas and this is the first one to make it on to the blog. The dry leaf was dark and twisted with some stems scattered throughout. Golden tips are not a big feature of this tea but I spotted one or two in my gaiwan. Tea Repertoire provided western brewing directions but gongfu is always my way to go when evaluating teas. It concentrates the aromas while also making any faults that may be there more obvious. The liquor brewed up a beautifully deep reddish amber color. A woody and sweet aroma was apparent when i sniffed the gaiwan lid.
The mouthfeel was round and smooth with hardly any astringency. Initial infusions were malty and sweet with an intriguing spicy finish. The woody aroma from the gaiwan lid was echoed in the taste, accompanied by dark fruits and subtle floral notes. I found myself missing the promised honey fragrance but that aspect became much more prominent in later infusions. There was a sweetness that lingered in the back of my throat long after each infusion. I found this tea to very warming and comforting, especially on a chilly day. I would definitely recommend giving this a try if you are a fan of Taiwanese black teas.