It’s officially Fall; my favourite season! I love love love the weather, the colours, the smell and the crunch of fallen leaves, and to top it all off… I feel like it’s tea-time again! Today is a beautiful blue-sky day and I see 2 trees out my window that are starting to turn red at the tips. It’s cool, with a little breeze, and I’m craving a good black tea to start this busy Autumn Saturday. I chose this Fujian Baroque by adagio teas because of the word ‘Baroque’. It makes me think of the Bach Cello Suites as played by Yo-Yo Ma. And this, more than any other music feels like a cool Fall day where I’m kicking up heaps of swirling leaves and watching them dance on the wind. Can’t explain it, but the cello just feels like Fall to me!
I open the packet and inhale. Ohhhhh it’s PERFECT! It smells like earth. It smells like black crushed up leaves with a little bitter sweetness and possibly little hints of buttery caramel. It goes perfectly with the music. If this doesn’t say “Fall”, I don’t know what does!
The leaves are little black twists with flecks of gold and rust. I steep a heaping teaspoonful in a mini teapot for 50 seconds. The tea is a clear, medium golden-brown. The first sip is WOW! Surprising! Not at all how it looks… but soooooooooooo good! The tea smells faintly like caramel, but it just explodes in the mouth with a deep, dark, richness like earth, ash, mineral, stone, and good, healthy black dirt. I mean that in a good way! It tastes much, much darker than it looks. It’s reminding me of a cross between a dark Da Hong Pao and a rich Pu’erh that you feel in the back of your mouth. It’s funny because I would expect something that tastes this dark to have more bitterness and astringency, but I’m not getting any. Nor am I getting any sweetness, but just a lingering black richness that reminds me of coffee and ashes.
I steep a second cup for 65 seconds and the colour comes up the same as the first. The flavour is just as surprising the second time around. It looks so light and caramel-y, but in the mouth, it tastes so dark and earthy. And still, there is not a shred of bitterness or astringency. This almost reminds me of dark chocolate covered coffee beans, without the coffee. The aftertaste is still like earth and ash.
I really love that this is a robust, earthy, luxurious, and deeply satisfying cup of tea without the bitterness or astringency that usually goes with a black tea. It’s weirdly surprising that this tastes so much darker than it looks. It is the perfect accompaniment to a crisp Fall day, and I highly recommend drinking it to the sound of Yo-Yo Ma’s Baroque cello!
SUPER BIG THANK YOU to adagio teas for providing this sample!