Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas
Our Zhen Qu originates from Yunnan, China and has downy black and gold curly leaves. This lightly malty tea has wonderful honey notes that linger and mingle with floral, chocolate, and pecan notes. Our recommended steep time produces a well-balanced tea and is less dry but we also recommend trying this tea at longer steep times for a more intense flavor.
Ingredients: Chinese Black Tea
Recommended Brew Time: 3 minutes
Recommended Amount: 1 level teaspoon of tea for 8oz of water
Recommended Temperature: 212 F (boiling)
Learn more about this tea here.
As soon as I added water to my cup I could smell sweet honey notes and a malty, almost smoky aroma. I knew this was going to be an amazing cup! The water had not even settled into the cup yet and these aromas were so instantly present.
Once steeped I got a better whiff of something I had thought I noticed when I first poured the water onto the dry leaf. It was in there with that initial aroma I already described but I had held back on stating it as I thought maybe my mind was playing games with me. Hey that happens a lot! It is this wonderful wine like aroma! Yes like a delicious merlot! The flavor does not disappoint! While I do not get a wine like flavor – no alcohol flavor – there are some elements in this tea that have wine like notes. Sweet, and yet somehow savory, just lightly smoky but not like a lapsang souchong smoke at all, nutty, and a light grape note. This is not an ordinary tea!
While I do taste the chocolate note within this tea which is so nicely balanced by the floral note what stands out more to me personally is how this tea is like a very fine wine with deeply earthy notes. Not earthy like a pu-erh however, but earthy as in the way the tea plays with the nuisances of the soil it was grown in, again, like a very fine wine.
As the tea cools some the floral note becomes more pronounced but it is so delicate to begin with that it is nice when it peeks out more.
This is truly one of those teas I could have many times before I discover all it has to offer! I am so thankful that I have got to sample this tea and it will go directly onto my shopping list!