Review of Classic Yixing Hong Black Tea from Jiangsu

7 of 105 of 54 of 585 of 100
Very GoodExcellentGood Value

This is my first black tea I've ever tried from Jiangsu province; previously I have only ever had green tea. Interestingly, both this and the green teas (Bi Luo Chun and Yun Wu) have a distinctive curly shape to the leaf. Is this a local tradition? Overall, it was pleasant but somewhat uninteresting or forgettable.

The dried leaf is consistently dark and has a soft, strong, and very pleasant fragrance. It smells both strongly fruity and malty, but smells lighter and fresher, and less smoky or deep, than most Chinese black (red) teas.

The brewed cup is also very pleasant. The flavor is sweet, and mild overall, but with a moderate savory or umami quality. There is only a faint hint of smokiness, and a subtle burned note in the finish, suggestive of candle wax. The aroma is mostly fruity with a light malty quality, suggestive of pastries or other sweet baked goods. The fruity quality in this tea is unusual, resembling strawberry or raspberry, a quality I rarely encounter in pure teas. Overall the aroma is a bit less intense than I had hoped for based on how fragrant the dry leaf was.

The candle wax note reminded me of the Yi Mei Ren Wu Liang Mountain tea I just tried from Yunnan sourcing, but in this tea it was subtle and not at all objectionable.

The second cup is pleasant and has a remarkably different character from the first. There is little in the way of the fruity or malty notes that dominated the first cup; instead there is a light smokiness. The second cup also has a different flavor: a bit stronger, more bitter, and less sweet, but still pleasant, and I'd say more balanced than the first steep.

I like how I feel after drinking this tea. It feels fairly caffeinated but is also relaxing. I found it easy to brew, and easy to drink. Not the most exciting tea, but pleasant and inoffensive. Good for people who like softer, milder black teas. I thought the price was good, but I would still prefer any number of Yunnan teas sold by this company. I like teas that are a bit more edgy.

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