It’s a time of mixed emotions at Tea and That HQ at the moment. Sadness at the fact that I’m on the last of my samples from Adagio’s Silk Road collection, but also happiness as this now means I can splash some cash on more teas to try!
But before I start perusing the tea shops again and seeing what catches my eye, I have one more sample to sip. The three previous teas in the set have been a crash course of flavour, history and technique, so it was with a sense of excitement that I moved on to the final sample.
This tea was again a black tea from the Yunnan province of China. After starting my adventure with a Yunnan Jig, a light and delicately flavoured introduction to loose leaf teas, I was very much looking to giving this one a try. It was called Yunnan Noir and from the name I deduced that it would be a darker affair than the previous offering, right up my street really.
When I opened up the packet, I was surprised to find it populated by tightly coiled, gold and yellow leaves that resembled some kind of ornate snail shell. After a bit of research, I found that this was down to deliberate hand rolling by the tea producer to release more of the natural oils and as a result, enhance the flavour that resided in the leaves.
I boiled the kettle, spooned the leaves into my infuser, and let it steep for about four minutes. On first taste, the similarities were there to the previous Yunnan tea, but with much more strength and astringency. Being used to drinking Assam as my everyday tea, this extra depth of flavour really appealed to me, but unlike an Assam it had a sweetness which was refreshing and moreish.
It was an easy tea to drink, and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The Yunnan Noir is one that I could easily see myself drinking on a regular basis, as long as I’m not being too lazy to make a loose leaf tea of course. It didn’t have the brisk, astringency that I have become used to from bagged and blended teas, and sometimes that can be a really good thing.
As my final experience from the Silk Road sampler from Adagio, this was a lasting one that I would happily buy again. I’m glad that I got to experience the dark side of Yunnan.
Are you a fan of Yunnan? I’m thinking of trying a different country’s tea next, where should I pick? Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.