Ancient Black Tea from Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-Tech Co. Ltd.

On August 24th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Ancient Black Tea. This sample was provided by Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-tech Co. Ltd. Changsha Nutrahealth is based in Hunan province, China. They specialize in a variety of industries, including the tea industry. To view their webpage, please click here.

Unfortunately, I do not have much information regarding this tea. If my contact from Changsha Nutrahealth has any useful information on this tea, please contact me, or leave a comment on this review, and I will be happy to revise this post. What I can say is that I was very excited to review this tea the moment I opened the sample pack. What an amazing aroma of citrus peel and cocoa hints.

Now, on to the review.

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date:  08/24/2013

Product Name:  Ancient Black Tea (NH2048)

Purchased From:  Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-tech Co. Ltd.

Type of Tea:  Chinese Black

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

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Aroma:  Rich citrus (orange peels), hints of cocoa and spice. Incredible aroma.

Dryness:  Very dry. Leaves crack easily, coarse to fine crumbling.

Color:  Black, some light to dark brown.

Texture:  Rigid, very dry twisted leaves.

Size, Shape, Length:  Twisted leaves, some curled, average length of 3/4 inch (19 mm). Longer leaves at 1.25 inches (31.75 mm).

Unique Characteristics:  Amazing room filling citrusy aroma. Some very long leaves.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  8 oz (227 ml)

Amount of Tea:  3 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

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Water Temperature:  200ºF  (93.3ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Rich citrusy (orange peels), some earthy qualities.

Color: Lively copper. Clean, transparent.

Taste:  Citrusy (orange peel), full bodied and mouth-filling, mildly bitter, light cocoa hints, citrusy aftertaste.

Comments:  This first infusion lived up to the expectations that the aroma of the dry leaves created. The aroma of the liquor was rich and appetizing. The color was bright and lively. The taste was quite possibly one of the best black teas I have had yet.  I have no doubt the second infusion will be great as well.

Second Infusion:

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Water Temperature: 200ºF  (93.3ºC)

Steep Time: 2 Minutes and 15 seconds

Aroma: Citrusy (orange peels), slightly lighter than 1st infusion.

Color:  Lively copper, slightly lighter than 1st infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Citrusy (orange peel), slightly lighter than 1st infusion. Earthy hints are becoming noticeable. Retains full body and mouth filling taste. Mildly bitter. Citrusy aftertaste. Very light cocoa hints.

Comments:  Overall a lighter brew than the 1st infusion. Despite the lighter characteristics, this is still a very tasteful and enjoyable infusion. I would take this 2nd infusion over many 1st infusions of other black teas. However, I am concerned that the 3rd infusion may lose too much character.

Third Infusion:

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Water Temperature: 200ºF  (93.3ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 30 seconds

Aroma:  Citrusy (orange peel), lighter than 2nd infusion.  Slightly earthy.

Color:  Retains a lively copper color, although noticeably lighter than the 2nd infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Citrusy (orange peel) flavor is becoming more of an earthy and ripe fruit taste, like peach. Very mild bitter. Retains full body and mouth filling taste.  Aftertaste remains citrusy and fruity.

Comments:  This notice 3rd infusion had a very different array of tastes, and I mean that in a very good way. The citrus taste was still present, but the earthy notes became much more prominent,  and a peachy taste appeared in a very noticeable and pleasant way. Awesome 3rd infusion. Completely unexpected.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

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Color:  Mostly uniform brown, some brownish-green.

Size, Shape, Length:  Many large, mostly intact leaves attached to stem. Some clippings. Average length of 1.25 inches (31.75 mm). Longest leaf about 2 inches (51 mm). Leaves are broader and longer than more common black teas.

Aroma:  Citrusy (orange peel), sweet.

Unique Characteristics:  Some very long, broad leaves with long stems, suggesting that these leaves are from older (ancient) tea bushes rather than younger bushes. Very sweet, citrusy aroma. Leaves have some durability, but it varies from leaf to leaf, suggesting that there are leaves from different farms or varietal bushes. A fourth infusion may be possible.

Final Comments:  This was a very unique tea with great characteristics. From the moment the sample bag was opened,  to the last sip of the 3rd infusion,  I was very impressed by this tea. The price tag is high for a black tea, but the quality of the tea is high as well. I have to admit that I wish I had more information on this tea. The lack of information is the only negative part of this review. However, I find it very important to know as much as possible about the teas that I review. That being said, this is an amazing tea that would be very suitable for special guests or occasions. Great product, Changsha Nutrahealth. One of the best black teas that I have tried.

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