Review of Big Snow Mountain of Mengku Black Tea

10 of 105 of 55 of 598 of 100

I found this tea absolutely delightful. I continue to be impressed with Yunnan Sourcing, ordering one top-notch tea after another, all reasonably priced.

The dry leaf has the most amazing aroma of any tea I've sampled over the past couple years. It's both strong and complex, floral, malty, spicy, and lightly smoky all at the same time.

The brewed cup is also very fragrant, but what stands out is its exceptionally sweet flavor. It is full-bodied and thick, with a lot of up-front astringency but a smoother finish. The aroma of the brewed cup is also very floral, with a hint of smoke, and backgrounds of malt, vegetables, spice. The finish leaves toasty notes and hints of bitter chocolate. The flavor is also extraordinarily interesting, a kind of bittersweet quality: the sip starts out sweet and then there is a pleasant bitterness. There is also a strong savory or umami flavor.

Really an extraordinary tea, and bargain-priced! Exquisite enough to be a special treat, but priced so you can easily drink it daily in quantity.

Also very easy to brew. Smooth enough to be brewed quite strongly. Some people might find the bitterness in the finish if brewed strongly to be objectionable, but this is easily remedied by going a bit milder, producing a more mellow cup. I found it invigorating though and prefered brewing more strongly. Resteeps very well. This tea would be wasted if not brewed at least twice; the second cup was just as enjoyable as the first and you can easily do three or more using shorter infusions.

I also really like how I feel after drinking it. This is one of those teas, a lot like gyokuro, that I find is good for promoting a sort of calm, relaxed alertness.

This tea is all-around wonderful. I especially recommend it to people who like both Assam black teas and Chinese red teas; its overall character is more typical for a Chinese tea but it has some of that depth, body, and strength that is more characteristic of Assam, which makes sense given that it's made from assamica leaves.

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