|"The flavour has notes of malt, honey, fruit, and a subtle smokiness."|
Eco-Cha is a relatively small company specialising in artisanal Taiwan teas. They have a great website, amazing shipping rates, and a plethora of information about every tea. This tea is from Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County, Taiwan, a region deservedly famous for its black teas. The leaves are dark brown in colour with a long and twisted shape.
I brew according to their gong fu directions, filling my teapot 1/2 full and brewing at 195° for 20 seconds. I get a deep amber liquor that smells of malt, fruit, and honey. The flavour has notes of malt, honey, fruit, and a subtle smokiness. There’s even a rarely-found but distinctly noticeable hint of mint. “Gan” is a term popular in Chinese tea tasting, and it refers to a minty flavour as well as sensation. While this is a Taiwanese tea, I feel the need to bust out the word here, since it’s not just a mint flavour, it’s a minty character.
My second, one-minute steep is on par with the first, although it has even more of that amazing gan characteristic. The cup starts to mellow by my 2-minute steep three, but it remains complicated and supremely interesting for the remainder of the infusions, each of which I increase by a minute.
It has an insane amount of depth and character, finished with a brilliant, lingering aftertaste. I don’t tend to keep many black teas on my shelf, but this is one I’d definitely buy.
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