After trying the beautiful White Peony that Teawala offers, I also tried this fabulous Yunnan Black. This tea comes in cake form. It’s not very common to see a black tea made this way, at least in my own experience, so it really intrigued me. The dry aroma reminded me of cinnamon with a heady camphor note.
I tried this tea first using a gaiwan. I broke apart the leaves and used about two grams worth in my gaiwan, with water just at a boil. To start I used 45ml of water, and an infusion time of 20 seconds. The liquor that steeping produced was incredibly reminiscent of Ruby 18, and I loved it.
You can tell from the first sip to the last that this is a quality tea. One could continually re-steep it in a gaiwan many, many times (I stopped at 12), and each produces a fantastic flavour, albeit a shifting one. The liquor is malty, camphor, and with a honey sweetness. There’s a touch of a fruity note in here too. Over time the camphor seems to shift and a mineral note appears. The flavours linger on the palate, and there’s just a slight astringency to it.
After tasting this tea with my gaiwan, I then prepared it Western style with a teapot. Again, using two grams of tea, this time for a 12oz serving. Once again, this tea made for a wonderful, warming cup of tea. The cinnamon and camphor notes shone, and again there was a lovely lingering aftertaste. All around a fantastic tea!