Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review: Dao Tea Balhyocha

Black tea

In appearance, like a typical black tea: tight, small twists of pure black leaf.

Again, in appearance, like any other black tea: dark, mahogany-brown cup, so deep I cannot see to the bottom of my white (though, admittedly, rather deep) cup.

On the surface, this seems very typical for a black tea: a touch of bitterness, an apparent simplicity. But then immediately, there's an indefinable-- This is a challenge, because it's my job to define these flavors. But the problem with much tea is that taste memories are highly subjective, and that it rarely helps a reader to understand what the character of the tea is like. But, being game, I'll give it a go anyway.

If this song is a voice, it would be a mezzo-soprano: a very strong middle-high range of distinct flavor that is unique enough, I'm struggling to put my finger on it, which primarily announces itself in the aftertaste, once the tea's been swallowed. When drinking this tea, take that sip, and then sit for about a minute without tasting anything else. Pay close attention to what's happening on your palate, and you will be rewarded by a rising taste of some unique hardwood, perhaps; a flavor like walking in a scrub meadow: a bit mossy, a bit dry, a bit weedy. Very satisfying and unusual.

In the low range, there is a bit of a throaty growl to the tea, which announces itself on my palate like a more typical black tea's personality. I wouldn't call this a smooth tea, because of this somewhat flinty edge to it. But at the same time, it is light, not heavy at all, but without the floral or sweetly fruity notes you normally would find accompanying such a light tea.

In all, for its unique flavor profile, a great choice for someone trying to enjoy an unusual morning cup.


Anonymous said...


Lainie Petersen said...

Beautiful review, Steve. I'd love to try this.

dance said...

Cast not the first stone. .........................