Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: thepuriTea
Fans of Golden Yunnan will love our similarly rich, sweet Hong Jing Luo black tea (also known as Golden Bi Lou). The name Hong Jing Luo roughly translates to “golden, downy feathers;” it was chosen because the tea’s golden leaves and buds are loosely rolled into small coils that are shaped like tiny, delicate feathers. Its aroma, flavor and aftertaste are all incredibly rich and sweet – anticipate notes of raisins, sweet potato, cocoa, brown sugar, malt, roasted pumpkin, dry wood, tobacco and dark brandy. A balancing astringency makes this black tea ideal for pairing with breakfast foods, pumpkin pie or chocolate.
Learn more about this tea here.
This morning as I meandered into my kitchen to start brewing my first cup of the day, I looked through my small “counter top stash” for a black tea. I have a beautiful green, handmade bowl on my counter top near my tea maker that holds the teas that I want to brew in the next day or two … somehow this manages to keep me somewhat organized when it comes to tea reviews. This was the first tea that I found in my bowl, so, I decided that this would be the tea to start my day.
And what a lovely choice!
This tea brews to a beautiful golden-coppery color, and appeared to be a bit on the light side compared to some of the other black teas I’ve been drinking lately. I wondered if it would have the vigor I needed today – because I was feeling a bit more asleep than awake at that moment.
But as I began to sniff at the tea and noticed the beautiful earthy notes as well as hints of cocoa and caramel, I could feel myself slowly beginning to wake, my eyes beginning to open with anticipation of the flavors I was about to savor.
Ahhh! Deliciously sweet with notes of burnt sugar and just a hint of cocoa that might be a bit more bittersweet than sweet … but is still quite delightful. And then I notice the distinct flavor of raisin, and I realize that the burnt sugar notes I noticed before weren’t so much burnt sugar as they were that sugary note that comes from dry fruit. I can almost feel the texture of a raisin in my mouth, the flavor is so distinct.
As I continue to sip, I notice other flavors woven into this tea. Hints of leather and oak, as well as a delightful malty tone and that sort of sweet, caramelized taste of the golden brown crust of freshly baked bread. It was so good, that the cup was empty before I knew it, and I decided that I really MUST infuse these leaves again to see what flavors another infusion might have in store.
The second infusion might even be better than the first! I notice a yam-y, sweet potato note beginning to emerge as well as a deep, pumpkin-y kind of flavor. These are all complemented with a background note of molasses-y brown sugar. Some of the original flavors I noticed in the first cup are present too, but it seems that they are not content with remaining as they were, but evolving into something more. This cup is richer and denser in flavor, but there is still a lightness to it that allows the flavors to be enjoyed.
This is one I’d recommend that all tea lovers try … I might even insist upon it! It’s so good, it’s one that should not be missed!