Reviewed in December and still the best black tea ever. It is so good, that despite the high price it is on an every other day rotation.
This is a rare tea, one that is not exported from China. Made in very small lots, it is sold and consumed locally. It is classed as a "fresh tea", meaning it is single origin, grown and processed on a small farm & processed according to local customs of flavor and aroma. The result - a liquor that is golden red, lush and silky. Aroma is floral and sugar cane. Flavor is rich, taste brings hints of cocoa & molasses; very complex and lingering. Note, this lot has aged for 2+ years in our warehouse. Characteristic and rich notes detailed below have deepened and, in cases, grown. Rare Lot # 9.
Lot Notes. This lot of Black Fragrance continues the cycle of rare and great tasting "fresh teas" we are procuring from a small farm about 60 kilometers from Fuzhou in the mountains of Fujian Province. "Fragrance" is made to local customs of tea by a tea maker we have known for years who now specializes in farming and processing the prized Mei Zhan varietal. The plucking standard is fine - bud and first and second leaf. Teas was plucked pre-Qing Ming. Note, each year the appearance and taste of the lot changes due to environmental conditions and processing decisions by the tea maker to maximize flavors and aroma.
Tea Facts. Made with the Mei Zhan varietal with its origin in the WuYi Mountains. In time, varietal has adapted to its local terrier & is recognized as a slow-growing tea bush. Grows at higher elevation which gives the leaves added depth of taste through the rigors of heat during the day and cooler nights stressing the leaves and creating complexity. Made by Mr. Wen, who is a retired tea maker who runs his family tea farm. He uses a light basket firing technique, to create a black tea with an unusually sweet fragrance that grows on the palate. This lot was harvested Pre-Qing Ming 2019.
Tasting Notes. With tasting, you will note the lingering finish and how good one feels after drinking this rare offering. Tea is sweet with notes of fruit and malt characteristic of a black tea from this area. The distinguishing note is floral and tastes of sugar cane. We note some molasses flavor too. The flavors of this tea are unusually strong and will linger well beyond the tasting. Also note the warm feeling you will experience after tasting.
Brewing Suggestions. A level tablespoon of leaf will service up to 8 to 12 ounces of water. Use water temperature of around 195 to 205 degrees F. Steep for 2 minutes and taste. It can be steeped longer for more body. Leaves will yield multiple steeps.