Yunnan Black Treasure is a Great Fall Brew
Tea : Yunnan Black Treasure (Formerly China Black Special)
Website: Yunnan Black Treasure
This tea was formerly called “China Black Special.” Tightly curled black and gold leaves steep up full and hearty, but without the astringency. Buried in the earthiness is a malty, sweet allure that always hits the spot. Produced in the spring of 2023 in Mangbai Village, Cangyuan County, Yunnan Province. It’s a one bud, one leaf pick from a local cultivar growing at almost 6,000 feet. This tea is also known as Hong Luo or “Red Snail” (due to its appearance).
Water: 240 ml/ approximately 8 oz
Temperature: 208 F
Steep Time: 5 minutes for 4 gm
My Review System: https://artofthepair.com/tea-overview/
My Overall Impression (Score of 85.5 %)
As we move to colder weather, we naturally crave heavier foods such as roasted meats, stews, etc. It’s only natural that our beverage choices act the same. I sampled this brew from Teasource and was a bit skeptical at first. I’m not a big tannin fan so brewing tea at 4 gm for 5 minutes is a heavy extraction.
I should not have worried. This tea is fantastic. Beautiful rich deep malt flavor with integrated tannins makes this a wonderful selection. While you can enjoy it by itself, this will pair wonderfully with stews, wild game options or after a rich meal to clean the palate. Definitely one with the price point to enjoy.
The price as of 10/3/23 is $6.24 for 56 gm or 2 oz.
- 56gm / 4 gm for steeping = 14 cups
- 14 cups from package = $0.45 per cup
Typically, I double steep all my teas (use the tea twice) so I can get 28 cups or approximately 23 cents per cup. Please note that this is a big brew that can be brewed multiple times to bring the cost down even further.
- In the bag, it shows lovely tobacco aromas with deep toasted malt. Reminded me of cigars in a humidor.
- There is no fruit or vegetables but a hint of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon at the end of the profile.
- Once brewed, the tobacco notes shine with the toasted oak essence malt with faint hints of cigar smoke.
- It also shows hints of pine resin and rosemary (possibly juniper).
- This shows big, toasted oak with small hints of tobacco and hints of cocoa.
- Even though it’s dry, it does show smoked caramel notes.
- Under the oak are hints of rosemary and thyme springs.
- On the palate, this has a soft inviting mouthfeel with big tannins over the profile.
- The acidity is high but works well to ‘rinse’ the palate clean of the tannins, making it refresh.
- Aromas (4.3/5)
- Flavors (8.4/10)
- Overall impression (4.4/5)
- Total score = 85.5 percent (17.1/20)
Foods to Pair and Why
- It’s about to get colder here and all that I could think about was Lamb with Rosemary for this pairing. Now, you could do grilled lamb chops (NO MINT JELLY) with some roasted winter squash. You also could debone a lamb leg, clean out the connective tissue, stuff the cavity with fresh herbs (oregano, thyme), parsley and garlic and roast until medium rare.
- I would love to serve this with cold 5 spice smoked sauteed duck breasts over pureed winter squash and rutabagas.
- My mind kept thinking to pull out my tagine and use it for winter vegetables cooked in a Moroccan Style.
- One recipe I would love to try is a grilled ribeye served as a steak salad over bitter greens like radicchio.
- While the above ideas are a bit complicated, we can keep this simple by making a lovely rich beef stew.