Review: ThepuriTea Hong Jing Luo

Black Tea, thepuriTea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Infused with lots of malt, honey, toast and raisin notes as well as a brisk finish, this tea is a good candidate for a morning brew."
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.9/10
Other Teaviews: Raven gave it 8.1/10, Jamie gave it 7.5/10, CJ gave it 9.5/10, CJ gave it http://www.thepuritea.com/products/hong-jing-luo/10
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Also known as “golden downy feathers”, or less poetically as “golden snail” due to the shape of its leaves, this offering features tightly wound, gold-coloured, spiral-shaped leaves. ThepuriTea's helpful website describes this close relative of golden Yunnan black tea as having a collection of rich “raisins, sweet potato, cocoa, brown sugar, malt, roasted pumpkin, dry wood, tobacco and dark brandy” notes. So the bar is set quite high from the get go...

The adorable looking tan and tangerine-coloured curls are quite striking as they tumble out of the foil package. Heavy with malt and biscuit notes, their scent has my heart racing: it's been a while since I've had a sturdy black tea. The suggested directions for a traditional (read Western) brewing call for 2g of tea steeped in water heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 5 minutes. The resulting mahogany-coloured cup is sweetly scented with a toasted raisin bread aroma. Infused with lots of malt, honey, toast and raisin notes as well as a brisk finish, this tea is a good candidate for a morning brew. It has a good, stout feel to it and can easily take milk and sugar. In fact, although I rarely add anything to tea, I most enjoyed this cup with a little soy milk and maple syrup. The smooth, somewhat dry finish is quite thirst quenching. But still, although it was pleasant enough, I expected more complexity and sweetness overall.

I tried a second and a third infusion, steeping for 5 and a half minutes and 7 minutes respectively. Both were slightly sweeter than the first, fruity notes being a bit more prominent. Generally the brew was remarkably unchanged from one steep to the next, which is a testament to the durability of these leaves.
Even with longer infusion times, the tea never developed much bitterness, just enough to highlight the fruitier elements of its profile.

This will please those who like to take their tea with milk and sugar, as it all ready tastes somewhat sweet and creamy from the start. If a little more sweet potato and roasted pumpkin were featured in the flavour profile, I would be all set to rave about this tea. As it is, I feel like this tea had the potential to be really exciting but somehow fell short. Clearly these are good quality leaves, but I didn't totally love the results. I will be keeping my eye out for more, as perhaps a different harvest will offer a more exciting brew.

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Teaviews Member: Sophie Sophie
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