Thanks to Brent of TeaNerd for involving me in this mystery tasting.
At first I was curious as to why I decided to partake in a yancha tasting (I don't drink the stuff). The yancha I've had in the past has all been fairly cheap and not amazing, so I figured if this TeaNerd guy knows his stuff, then I'll get my paws on "good" yancha. As doubtful as I was about liking it, this tea surprised me.
The dry leaves were in good shape, smelling mostly of burnt wood and some dark chocolate. I threw the whole sample into my gaiwan, rinsed it once, and followed with a few flash infusions. The aroma from the cup was dark and new. My untrained sniffer drew in many long breaths until I came up with this: "dark (mysterious), chocolatey (not specifically dark chocolate anymore), pancakes (sweet dough with tart), all of this under charcoal."
The taste is less complicated, but I was shocked at first to discover how sweet it was! After my excitement dissipated, I tasted a sweet caramel, and a dark chocolate. The strong charcoal from the smell becomes a muted, yet complex taste.
Overall, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this tea. I have to thank Brent again for this excellent tea. This was my first yancha that was more than $20/100g, and surprised me at how good it really was. It turned out to be the 2007 Exquisite Da Hong Pao from TeaCuppa which goes for $20/.42oz (although I waited for this information before I tasted it muahaha).
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