Of all the Korean teas I have tried, Balhyocha is my favourite! So, when I saw this blend, it was a swift purchase!
Description: “Our premium Balhyocha is blended with Korean citrus fruit yuja, also known as yuzu, creating a refreshing harmony with a dark chocolate aroma.”
Instructions: 3g | 240ml | 90ºC | 2 minutes*
* The website noted that the tea could be infused a second time using boiling water for 5 minutes.
Review: When I first tasted Balhyocha, Korean black tea, many years ago I was hooked. I really enjoy the malt, grain, and dark cocoa quality. So much so, I invited Soo to discuss Balhyocha in depth a few years ago. As a yuja fan as well, this blend sounded like a win all around.
The wirey twisted leaves looked black against the deep orange yuja peels and white piths. The blend had a lovely mineral, baked bread, bitter chocolate, and a pithy citrus smell. Once the water hit the dry blend, there was a pleasant citrus smell. After brewing for 2 minutes, the reddish brown liquor had a layered woody, malt, and pithy smell. The blend started off with the hallmarks of a Balhyocha: malt, sweet, and grains, then there was a swelling of citrus and a bit of bitterness from the yuja peels. The blend left a nice citrus and sweet aftertaste in the mouth and back of the throat. The citrus note lingered pleasantly in the mouth.
After a second 5 minute infusion, the liquor taste was more intermingled between the citrus, grains, and sweetness. When cooled, the liquor was more citrus forward with a refreshing malt and dark chocolate profile. The wet leaves had mostly a citrus/pithy smell.
I struggled to decide if I enjoyed Balhyocha or the Balhyocha Yuja blend better, but the reality is I enjoyed them both! The Balhyocha on its own builds into a much richer chocolate note, however, the blend melds lovely with the yuja citrus notes. I recommend the blend to anyone who enjoys sweeter black teas and citrus notes, yuja tea, or enjoys Korean teas (4/5 rating).