A premium hand-picked Russian black tea possessing a smooth yet thick fudge taste with a malty finish.
My apologies for the delay between posting lately. I've been sucked into the worlds of Rothfuss and Sanderson and haven't had much free time that isn't dominated by their books.
The second of the Solohaul teas! I reviewed the first one a couple weeks ago and was thoroughly impressed by it, and have been quite excited for the other two. I've been slowly digging through my pile of Russian teas, and haven't been disappointed by any of them yet.
Dry leaves - The leaves are quite similar to the Keemun version in color, but are longer and more twisted, almost akin to something from Yunnan. The aroma is a wonderful and pungent blend of malt, fresh grain and raw cacao.
Brewing parameters - 212F, 3.5m. These parameters have worked well for nearly all of the Russian black teas so far, so I see no reason to change them now.
Tasting notes - Smooth, malt, cacao, dark chocolate
While the Keemun version of this tea was heavy on the chocolate with a malty undertone, this one goes the exactly opposite way and brings the maltiness to the front and center. Yet hiding somewhere under the malt flavors are the distinct tones of cacao and dark chocolate. It's kind of weird to have both in the same tea, but I found that both are fairly recognizable and separate from each other. Again, I've come to expect a mildly smoky tannic quality to come along with Russian black teas, and that is entirely absent here.
While the maltiness is strong with this one, it's the cacao flavors that really set it off and make it great. Malt/cocoa is a pretty common flavor profile for Yunnan black teas, and this tea manages to take that flavor set and make it all its own. It's really a unique and excellent tea. Even without the typical Russian terroir, I think this tea is still undeniably from the RF. It's yet another excellent example of the high quality teas coming from Krasnodar.
You can buy this tea from What-Cha here: http://what-cha.com/new-teas/russia-solohaul-tea-estate-alpine-black-tea/