Monday, December 21, 2009
Tea Review 107 - Rishi Tea (x4)
I've said it before and I'll say it again - a truly great black tea is a thing of wonder. I'd rank Yunnan as my second favorite of the black teas, after Assam. But while dishwater Assams outnumber the great ones by far, I have yet to be disappointed by a Yunnan and this one beats all comers hands down. It has a rich, almost sweet flavor with just the faintest hint of spicinesss and a very smooth mouth feel with nary a trace of bitterness. Oh, be still my beating heart.
Keemun is a Chinese black tea that seems to find its way into English Breakfast blends a lot. I don't have a lot of experience with it but of the three Keemuns I've reviewed since starting this site I'd put this one at the top of the pack by a nose. It has a nice full flavor and a hint of smokiness on the finish. The latter is something that usually puts me off, but it's subtle enough in this case that I found it appealing.
A good solid Dragonwell, this one. Stellar? No, doesn't quite reach that level, but I could drink it on a regular basis. Rishi calls it "mellow and smooth with a fresh bittersweet finish and roasted chestnut aroma" and I see no reason to argue with that.
There are a number of teas that are clearly not for me. Hojicha is one of them. This is not a reflection on Rishi's Hojicha, of course. Anything smoky or roasted - hojicha is a Japanese green that falls into the latter category - is rarely to my liking. That doesn't mean that you won't like it, but for me to discourse on its merits is like asking a vegetarian to review a steakhouse.
Samples provided by Rishi Tea.
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