Zhu Rong Yunnan Black Tea from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

The aroma of this intensely rich Yunnan black is immediately reminiscent of one of our favorite chocolate’s of all time: the Rogue Chocolatier Hispaniola bar, made with a tangy and nuanced cacao from the Dominican Republic.  Imagine a fine dark chocolate melted down and infused with hibiscus.  That is the aroma of this tea.  It is so rich and fruity it even reminds us of a fine, light roasted coffee.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I find myself in agreement with the above description, this does, indeed smell of dark chocolate with just a hint of hibiscus.  Maybe even a hint of freshly roasted coffee.  It’s one of those delicious, eye-opening kind of scents – the kind of fragrance that you want to experience first thing in the morning to help wake you up.

The first notes that I really notice with this tea is very much like the aroma – sans the hibiscus (thankfully!)  I taste a rich, deep note that reminds me of dark chocolate that’s been infused with espresso (which is about the only way I experience coffee, these days).  YUM!

As I continue to sip, the chocolate remains, however, other flavors start to emerge.  I notice hints of pepper as well as a sweet pototo/yam-like kind of flavor that brings the texture of this tea into focus.  The overall cup is warm and flavorful, reminding me of the splendor of autumn and the flavors that I associate with that time of year.

The first pot of tea was so delicious, I thought I’d try infusing the leaves a second time to see what flavors it had in store for me.  I usually have wonderful luck with multiple infusions from Verdant’s teas!

And the second infusion did not let me down.  With this cup, I notice some fruitier notes beginning to emerge.  I noticed the peppery notes of a Yunnan in the first cup, but now these peppery notes seem to be changing.  The taste I notice now not so much of a black pepper which is what I typically experience with a Yunnan.  This is more like a hot pepper – only not so hot that I feel like my mouth is burning.  I notice the fruity tones of the pepper.

Imagine the flavors you might experience from a hot pepper if the inner membranes and seeds were carefully removed.  The pepper is still hot, only not as hot as it would be with those seeds and membranes.  And with some of that heat removed, the palate is able to explore the fruitier nature of the pepper.  It is those fruity qualities that I taste with only a fraction of the heat… maybe even a fraction of a fraction.  It’s not spicy – it’s mildly warm – but with a beautiful pepper-y fruit note.

This peppery quality melds beautifully with the smoky notes I notice in the distance, as well as the aforementioned chocolate-y notes which have remained (although they are somewhat softer than they were in the first infusion).  It becomes a deliciously savory and sweet experience.

Truly a lovely tea – which is something I’ve come to expect from Verdant.  If you’ve not yet sampled their teas, I highly recommend them.  You won’t be disappointed.

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