Monday, March 10, 2014
Simple Loose Leaf, Yunnan Breakfast Black
Our Yunnan Breakfast is a wonderful Chinese black tea with rich awakening flavours. Its invigorating fragrance and glossy red liquor offer a robust taste with a peppery finish. Enjoy this bold tea hot.
Sample provided by Simple Loose Leaf.
I've said it before but it is worth repeating, I love Yunnan black teas. Today's easily qualifies as an everyday tea. The website lists the price at $9.97/3 oz. That is very reasonable if it is an enjoyable tea. Of course the price goes down, if you have a monthly club membership, based on the number of teas you agree to buy.
I really like the resealable pouch Simple Loose Leaf uses for their teas. It has a vent in the back making it easy to push out excess air. This is the only company I have encountered using this system.
The leaf in the bag has a breakfast cereal smell to my nose, like cheerios maybe. I removed a scoop of leaf and it is mostly dark leaf with touches of golden buds scattered throughout. The picture looks more golden than my sample.
I steeped two different mugs of this, each with fresh leaf. The first I used the equivalent of two tsp with 6 oz of boiling water and steeped 3 minutes. The result was bitter and not so enjoyable, although I could catch some smoky notes and cocoa behind the bitterness. I should have only used half the leaf.
So cup two was with 12 oz of just off boiling water using about 1 1/2 tsp of leaf. This time I steeped for just over one minute. The leaf is broken pieces that turn chocolate brown once steeped. The aroma of the wet leaf is lightly overdone brownies and light smoky notes.
The sip is lightly smoky, slightly spicy, with a bit of pepperiness. I expected cocoa but mainly I catch nice leather notes along with an earthy or woodsy flavor. This cup is not at all bitter.
This is actually pretty good. I think it might benefit from a slightly longer steep but 3-5 minutes as suggested might be pushing it. I think I'll try two minutes next time and see how that works. At one minute it is pleasant and more complex than one would expect based on the cost.
All of the teas from Simple Loose Leaf so far have proven themselves to be a good balance between quality and cost. If monthly clubs aren't your thing, you can still purchase their teas individually.
Visit the Simple Loose Leaf website.