I hadn't tried Adagio's Yunnan Golden Curls yet so I selected that one and put it up against a tea I had tried before (several times, actually), Chicago Tea Garden's Golden Bi Luo. I selected the Golden Bi Luo mostly because I figured the two teas were pretty similar - both Golden Yunnans with some fun twist or curl to it.
So yes, that was my fun activity for today. And now I'm sharing it with you!
Yunnan Golden Curls
Golden Bi Luo
|Initial Impressions||The dry leaf is very pretty - loosely twisted/curled with decent amount of fluffiness. The smell is very sweet. Post-steeping it smells sweet and malty with notes of tobacco and caramel.||The leaves are tightly curled and decently dense and heavy. They smell dark and malty.|
The tea smells slightly heavy/dark with notes of hay, smoke and something that brings to mind young tree limbs.
|The initial taste matches the smell: sweet. I also get notes of pipe tobacco and a light honey. It's a fairly lightly textured tea. There is a slightly mouth-drying aftertaste that develops into a sugary aftertaste.||The taste dark and has a thick-ish feel to it. Slurping brings out bits of smoke or ash. There's an aftertaste of a dark, caramelized raw sugar or honey (if you could, you know, caramelize honey.) A sticky but not astringent aftertaste.|
|A hint of spice has shown up on the front end. It gives the impression of cinnamon or maybe nutmeg. Still sweet but is starting to come out with that 'stereotypical tea' taste. A hint of sweet ash pops up at the end and couples with the slight astringency to make a faint tart end.||Smoke, sweetness and that faint green woody note all pop up. The flavor seems very 'stereotypically tea' tasting but with an added hint of starch and an aftertaste of sugar. CTG mentions this as being a coffee replacement and the dark, heavy notes to this make me agree.|
|Now I smell brown sugar and chicory. The warm spice taste is still present and it gives me the feeling of sipping a mild coffee (or some chicory) with a hint of cinnamon. Slurping brings out a bake-y, smoke note.||Green woodsy still abounds, chased by flashes of sugar or honey.The taste is smooth and dark with a coffee-like (though milder) acridity. Slurping accentuates the raw quality and ash.|
|My Thoughts||Really a very good tea. It’s sweet so somewhat dessert-y but the flavor kept developing (and surprising) through multiple steeps (and all signs point to it being able to go for more). Later steeps had a heavier flavor so would be morning appropriate but it is smooth enough for any time of day. It’s definitely something I would buy again.||Remarkably unimpressive which is surprising because I know I’ve had it before and gotten sweet and milky notes from it (though perhaps it needs less leaf and a slightly longer steep time to bring those flavors out as I normally would do 2g/5oz at 1:30). But this experience was only okay.|
Naturally, I have pictures.