Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What-Cha: China Yunnan Wu Liang 'Yi Mei Ren' Black Tea, A Tea Review

I am sooo annoyed at my body today! So yesterday I got up early so I could go to bed early, a logical approach to changing my schedule. Turns out my body had different plans, right as I settle into bed at a sane hour (3AM, woo!) I develop a double slam of a killer stomach and headache, so I didn't end up getting to sleep until 8 in the morning...and I woke up an hour ago. This means my schedule is not adjusted, I missed out going out to lunch with Ben and running the errands I needed to run, and someone checked the mail before me. Of course I still feel pretty nasty, better than when I finally went to sleep, but still very off. Ah well, such is life with Fibromyalgia, some days are great and some are not, luckily I have plenty of tea and warm blankets to help me through.

Today is Wednesday, so that means it is time for What-Cha, and today's tea of choice will be China Yunnan Wu Liang 'Yi Mei Ren' Black Tea, a Red Tea from one of my favorite tea producing regions, Yunnan! From Wu Liang Mountian in Puerh, Yi Mei Ren (which is named for the Yi Minority that inhabits that region) is made from big leaf material, making this a very fluffy Dian Hong. The aroma of the leaves is quite tasty, making this similar to a dessert tea, with notes of fruits and nuts. The blend of walnuts and pecans with cooked plums and dark cherries reminds me of a compote without the spice. There are creamy undertones, along with malt, and a slightly woody and sharp cacao shell finish.

Into the dragon gaiwan the leaves go! The aroma of the now quite soggy leaves is malty and rich, with notes of cocoa, dates, plums, and a touch of spice at the finish. The nutty notes have vanished and it has been thoroughly replaced with sweetness. Wait, I lied, the nutty notes did not vanish, they just migrated to the liquid! Notes of walnuts and cashews mix with cocoa and malt with a distinctly sweet creamy finish. The idea of this being a dessert tea is still staying strong with these sweet notes.

From the first steep I can say that the mouthfeel is very smooth, bordering on slick with its smoothness. It is not overly heavy, just gently sitting on the tongue spreading flavor. The taste starts out creamy, like a nice bite out of a bar of chocolate, this tea is immensely sweet. Honey notes mingle with plum and dark cherries, a distant floral note dances in and out between sweetness, vaguely reminiscent of roses. The finish is chocolate and it lingers for a while.

Second steeping time! The aroma is maltier this time, with stronger notes of cocoa and a slight woodiness as well, there are still nuts and creaminess, but the strength of this steep is malt. The taste is very similar to the first steep, a slightly heavier mouthfeel and stronger cocoa notes at the start set this steep apart, as does the malt note at the finish. It is still very sweet, but it is bordering more on dark chocolate than milk.

Third time, as you can tell from the photo this tea kept me company while I was painting, it was the right amount of invigorating and sweet where I could slurp and paint. This steep was pretty much identical to the first steep, smooth and light mouthfeel with creamy sweetness. The main difference between this steep and the first was a slightly stronger fruit note, specifically cooked plum, and the absence of that distant floral note. This tea was immensely tasty, definitely one I could see myself indulging in a lot.

This tea was purchased by me.

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