|The dry leaves|
A few months ago I was given the opportunity to choose a few teas from Adagio Teas to sample. I don't usually order from their site, so I looked around and tried to find teas that stood out. I noticed their Yunnan noir was part of the 'roots' campaign where you get to 'meet the farmer'. This includes a Q&A with someone associated with the tea farm. I enjoyed reading the info behind these leaves and thought it would be an interesting purchase. From the Adagio Q&A:
Q What is your favorite part of growing tea?
A"My favorite part is shaping the Yunnan Noir tea. It has a beautiful shape which is curl and golden. It requires experience and patience. Now I am still young I have a lot to learn from my master who is my father. I am happy when I can make better shape for a new lot. I am sure I can get better and better in the future."
As the above quote mentions, the leaves are beautifully rolled into a snail shape and have a sweet and spicy aroma with hints of cocoa.The brew is super smooth, chocolaty and well balanced. It has a thick mouth feel that is velvety soft. It is fruity, reminiscent of plums and raisins, earthy and slightly bitter. Lots of malt here too, a bit too much for my early morning palate. I would like to have a bit more brightness in the cup, something to cut through the cocoa and malt notes.
|The leaves after 1 steep|
I brewed this tea with boiling water for 3 1/2 minutes. I don't think it needed more time as it was starting to get a bit astringent. But I like my morning teas to be strong and I usually over-brew it for reason. But I'd suggest sticking to closer to 3 minutes if you prefer a smoother taste. The leaves have at least one more steep to give, they started to unfurl but look like they have a little more life left in them.