Review of Nan Nuo Mountain Assamica Varietal Black Tea

9 of 105 of 55 of 597 of 100

This was another delightful tea. Of all the teas I've tried recently, it was most similar to the Big Snow Mountain of Mengku. It also reminded me a lot of some artisanal Assam teas I tried a while back from TeaOrb, a company that sells teas from regions of Assam that don't typically reach the western market.

The dry leaf is fragrant and the smell is quite different from most Yunnan teas. It is strongly malty, with notes of dried fruit, caramel, and a sort of earthy, forest floor character. I found the leaf to be more brittle and fragile than most Yunnan teas; although it was carefully packed and arrived intact, it broke easily during handling and by the time I had gotten to the bottom of the bag, it was quite broken.

This tea infuses quickly relative to how large the leaf is. Even a short steep produces a rich, robust cup. The flavor is complex: it's initially quite sweet, but also pleasantly bitter as well, but there is less sourness and savory flavor than typical for teas of this strength. Vegetal aromas come out in the cup that I didn't notice in the dry leaf. Overall this tea reminds me so much of the earth, the aromas reminiscent both of forests and of gardening, conjuring up images of autumn leaves and digging in the soil. There are notes of fermenting, overripe fruit.

I really loved drinking this. The experience is a bit unusual; it is low in up-front astringency, and can seem a bit thin or watery, but it has an astringent finish that, paired with the bitterness, I find pleasantly invigorating.

Resteeps well. When brewing the way I usually do, 3-5 minutes for the first steep, I find the second cup is a bit softer and richer, very aromatic, but less bitter.

And yet another tea with a great price. I can't get over how amazing the prices are at Yunnan Sourcing. 100 grams was only $8.25, really a steal for tea of this quality. Versatile and good both as a breakfast tea and later in the afternoon too.

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