Friday, January 9, 2015

What-Cha, Vietnam 'Wild Boar' Black Tea

What-Cha Description:
A brilliant wild growing black tea with a rich taste of chocolate and malt.
The wild growing tea leaves are picked by local hill tribes who bring the leaves into town where they are processed. The tea is named after the wild boar which roam the area.

Sample provided by What-Cha Tea Redefined

My Review:
So a little about my day. When I awoke, I sat on the edge of the bed. My wife walked in and asked why I was just sitting there. I told her it was because I wasn't sure where I was going. Yeah, this guy needs caffeine.

When I got to my tea stash, I discovered I never cleaned the green machine teapot from yesterday. Note to self: Never, ever, again brew CTC tea in this little pot. I did not think it would ever come clean.

I have learned I really do enjoy a small ceramic teapot for black teas. If I stumble on a great deal, I would like one with a large mesh filter basket built in. Back to tea...

Forgetting my new rule that I would randomly select my next tea from the box, I dug through specifically looking for black tea. This one promises smooth, malty, chocolate. It says so right on the label.

Opening the resealable aluminum bag releases the malty scent of the dry leaf. Yeah!

The leaf is mostly dark chocolate brown with almost like a frosty coating. There are some brown tips to be seen in the leaf.

The leaf is long mostly narrow twists. There are a few that are partially unfurled.

Into the freshly sparkling tiny green teapot go the leaves, along with 8oz of 203F bottled water enhanced with minerals. I am trying to determine if a change in water from our filtered county water, will enhance the taste.

The steep time was 3 1/2 minutes. The brew is a sparkly clear and bright orange in color.

The wet leaf has turned green and cinnamon in color. I see some pieces but also some full leaves. It has really expanded.

The aroma is malty and baked smelling. It is sort of reminiscent of unsweetened chocolate.

I did not add sweetener or milk to the mug. I always try it straight first. I determined this was rich enough in flavor that I did not feel it necessary to add anything.

I can taste the malt and baked unsweet chocolate and it is similar to the aroma but light. There is a briskness to the cup that is more than welcome. This reassures me I may yet wake up. It begins early in the sip at the front of the tongue and spreads out and around the sides. This gives way to a sharper finish. It leaves a little dryness in the fruity aftertaste.

About mid sip, I catch a fruity almost muscat flavor that reminds me quite a bit of the Darjeeling I tried a few days ago. The taste is kind of woodsy and like fall leaves.

Pu-erh, oolong, and white teas I always expect to get multiple cups from the same leaf. Good green tea should go at least twice. Often more. Black teas are hit and miss. You should always try. Some Yunnan teas can be steeped five or six times.

With that in mind, the second cup from the same leaves is much lighter in color. The scent is kind of mushroom. I am finding the taste to be similar. It is woodsy, mushroom, and creek leaf in taste. It is drinkable but not what most people would expect from a black tea. Really it is kind of like a deep sheng (raw) pu-erh taste. It even has the sharpness of a sheng. I like it but you may not.

Although this is far more complex and flavorful than anything you are likely to grab off the grocer's shelves, it is a tea that I think the first cup would be easily accessible to your non-tea friends.

You can find What-Cha Vietnam 'Wild Boar' Black Tea  here.

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