Review: Norbu Tea Imperial Dian Hong

Black Tea, Norbu Tea, Yunnan Tea Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It is a relaxing snap back to becoming what resembles a functioning human being."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.2/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.0/10, Troy gave it 9/10, Lynn gave it 4.5/10, Nicole gave it 10/10
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norbudianimperialThe first cold of the season has struck. So far I'm still capable of breathing through my nose, but my knees feel like a bag of popcorn reaching its second minute in the microwave, and my brain is, as near as I can tell, missing. Normally I avoid trying new teas at a time like this, but I feel a desperate need to have something new and exciting in the hopes that it'll draw me out of this congestion and Tylenol Cold-induced stupor.

A hearty black tea is always a safe bet for when you want to feel functional again. I can still use my nose as well as always, but even if I feel like at the end of this tasting, the tea hasn't been given a fair shake, I'll have enough leaf left for a second shot, so Norbu is the lucky recipient of today's review. It could be worse - I'm getting my wisdom teeth taken out in January, and I fully plan on attempting a review at the height of my post-surgery drugged-ness. Just for funzies.

The leaves of this are a beautiful dusty-looking black and gold mixture. They smell strongly of chocolate and malt, precisely the aroma I want from a tea meant to lift me from the depths of snot-ridden despair. In order to leave plenty of leaf for future experimenting if necessary, I'm overcoming the urge to steep this gong fu style in my Yunnan Black (or red, as some would say) yixing, and throwing a teaspoon of leaf in with 6 ounces of water, instead. Norbu doesn't give any hardcore hints on temperature or time or anything reasonable like that, so I'll go with an arbitrary 108 degrees for 4 minutes.

This first steep is pretty unexciting. The flavour is good, but not as robust or as rounded as I hoped. I figure Norbu was serious about the whole gong fu deal, so I'm retrying with a fresh teaspoon of leaf with only 3 ounces of water and two minutes steeping time. This batch is much more my style - malty and chocolatey with hints of pepper all wrapped up in a smooth, robust tea. It is a relaxing snap back to becoming what resembles a functioning human being. I just resemble one, though. Don't expect me to actually be a real person today and do something crazy like go look for a real job.

Proof-reading this seems like way too much effort right now. The grammar-stickler in me is disappointed in my laziness, but not enough so that I'm not going to just submit this and go have another cup of Dian Hong.

— To purchase Norbu Tea Imperial Dian Hong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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