I recently bought some tea from Mei Leaf during their Easter Sale, and this was one of those that I purchased along with the Young Gushu and some White Peony.
So, I only very recently learned why some black teas are not black at all, but a golden coppery color. Why is this considered black tea, when it doesn’t look black at all? I learned that if you pick buds and process them as black tea, meaning fully oxidized, then the buds will turn a gold color instead of black like the leaves. Pretty cool, right?
I brewed up about 3.5 grams at 200 F and 100ml of water per infusion. First infusion for 10 seconds and an additional 5 seconds for each infusion after that. Side note: I broke out my glass pot because I hadn’t used it in a while, but this was not the best choice for a black tea with such a short brew time. This pot has a very slow pour and is not suited for quick brews. Stick with a gaiwan for black tea, and use the glass for oolongs and watch them unfurl.
The wet leaves had a strong scent of toffee, which was interesting, with a bit of menthol, which was a rather pleasant smell. Confession time: I very rarely ever enjoy the smell of wet leaves. I want to enjoy it, but I just can’t. However, I did enjoy the smell of the wet leaves on this one.
The main taste was a burnt caramel flavor and menthol. That doesn’t sound too appetizing of flavors to put together, but it was very good. It was smooth, thick and velvety. It had a very long finish or aftertaste, as the flavor stayed on my tongue for quite a while after I finished drinking it. I went for six infusions overall. This one didn’t change hardly at all throughout the infusions, but stayed pretty constant. I noticed a slight increase in the caramel flavor and a bit more sweetness after the 2nd infusion, but it was a subtle difference.
Overall, this tea was very good and unique from other teas that I have tried. I liked it a lot and will definitely drink it again. The price on this is $10.29 for 30 grams. That gets you 8 or 9 sessions if you brew in 100 ml of water. The math comes to $1.28 per session, which at 6 infusions is $.21 per cup. Mei Leaf recommends going to 8 infusions, which I certainly believe you can do, this tea wasn’t finished yet, I just ran out of hot water and didn’t want to make more. At $.21 per cup, that is close to what a tea bag at the grocery store costs, and this tea is infinitely better than that.
A note for the blog overall: I am a bit on the frugal side when it comes to money, (and an accountant in my day job), and most tea blogs that I have read don’t state the price of the tea they are drinking, or they received it for free. I think price is an important part of any buying decision, including tea, so I will be breaking down the price in my blogs going forward.