Monday, July 23, 2007

Yunnan Red Tip from Teacuppa

Scent in package: malty & strong
Brewed in: tea for one/metal infusor
Steeped: 5 min.@212 deg.
Cup: Café mug at work.

I normally drink a lot of Yunnan Gold…which is basically Yunnan black tea with golden tips. It’s smooth and malty like oatmeal, and perfect for breakfast. So I thought I’d see how this Yunnan Red Tip tea stacked up.

It looks a lot like a gold tip tea, except the leaves are darker, and the tips less prevalent. The scent is stronger too…less sweetness, and more “punch”. As it brews, the malty-ness really wafts through the air, and it almost made my mouth water (as a good Yunnan should!).

The taste was a bit disappointing though, I’m afraid. Rather than smooth and sweet, it’s more astringent than what I’m used to with Yunnan teas, and not really the flavor of oatmeal, but rather a some what sharper, almost (but not quite) bitter malt.

It’s a strong tea, and will wake you right up if that’s what you’re after. I can see myself downing a cup in the morning to get the blood flowing to the brain more quickly. But it’s not really a tea I’d probably sit down to just enjoy…it lacks the depth of flavor and natural sweetness that I’ve come to expect from Yunnan tea. Call me spoiled, but this seems more like a “knock off” than the real thing.

So I’ll certainly finish off my package, probably first thing in the mornings, but I won’t be reordering this one. If you want a thinner, more drying Yunnan taste, this is your tea.


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