It has been a long time since I have had a Wild Style Black tea. I had forgotten just how good – and how unusual – it is.
The first time I had a purple tea, I was a tea noob and made it just like most average black breakfast teas. It was terrible! And it was all my fault. Fortunately I learned how to make it properly very soon after, plus there was a nice reminder of the right way to treat these leaves on the package.
The water temperature is lower and the steep time is even shorter than the last Wild Style I made. It made me wonder if I was really going to get all the flavor out of these leaves. It is pretty light in color for a black tea when steeped, but have no fear. It is not light on flavor.
The first thought when I sipped was, “Wow, what is that? It is so familiar but I can’t pin it down.” After lots of soul searching, I came up with…a warm and mellow citrus, not sharp like lemon but more like orange, plus a light cassia cinnamon flavor. Honey. And a hint of floral notes. So many layers of flavor dancing and sparkling in this cup! Not heavy at any time, light bodied, and complex.
This is one to be enjoyed, paid attention to, not to be downed with an onion bagel while you rush out the door. Treat it like a tea experience, and really get to know all the flavors! I would love to hear what other people get out of it.
It is a real champion in the re-steeping department, too, delivering quite a few excellent steeps with good flavor before weakening.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Old Ways Tea
This wild style black tea is from high mountains above Tongmu village located in the Wuyishan Biodiversity Protection area. A strong but clean floral fragrance is present. The tea is described as wild style due to the conditions in which the trees are allowed to grow. The trees are by no means wild, they are still intentionally grown from known cultivars, but are spaced more widely and allowed to grow more how they please. They are not forced into the neat rows that make cutting more efficient.