Friday, January 3, 2014

Rivertea, Golden Yunnan

Rivertea Description:
If you’re looking for a tea to replace that nagging craving for something sweet, then you’ll definitely want to consider the delicious decadence of the Golden Yunnan black tea. The flavor of this tea has been noted as reminiscent of truffles and conveys notes of cocoa for a truly gratifying treat. This strong swirling of malty and cream flavors come together for a smoky yet sweet infusion that contrives a lust-worthy taste that you can use to calm that dessert hankering. Yunnan province in China, where this tea comes from, is known to be one of the largest tea-producing areas in the world. Even if black tea has not been cultivated in Yunnan for very long, some the the best black teas in the world are found here.

My Review:
The final tea to be sampled from my prize winning entry response to Rivertea's question, "What would you do for the last 100 g on earth of your favorite tea?" All the teas from Rivertea have been very good. As for my personal favorite tea on earth, it would be either an Earl Grey, a Fujian black, or a Yunnan Black. Much love for all of them.

So I guess that makes this Yunnan a proper tea to complete my current round of reviews. I opened the round cardboard canister and opened the inner plastic ziplock bag, removing a scoop of leaf. The first thing that struck me was the color. Maybe it was just the lighting in my den this afternoon. Normally I associate Yunnan black leaf with golds, tans, and browns. Yes, this contains those as well, but it appears slightly green tinted as well. The dry scent is tea. What I mean is the scent does not reveal a lot of what I can expect.

I used the scoop with 12 oz of water heated to 212 F and steeped 3 minutes per instructions printed on the bottom of the canister. The result is a nicely deep caramel cup whose aroma is, whoa... what is this? More than a hint of smoke. Awesome!

Waiting for the cup to cool so I can begin sipping is killing me.... Ok, first sip.... YES! the sweet smokiness remains. It is accompanied by honey and malt. There is also a woodsy/nutty cocoa tinged flavor present. This is very good. Wow! This really hits all my buttons.

This is not powerfully smoky like a lapsang louchong. It is more in line with a keemun level of smoke. However, if you despise all things smoky, this is not for you. Which is a shame because this is hands down my favorite of the Rivertea offerings I have tried. A keeper.

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