Purchased a sample. Prepared in a gongfu session with a porcelain gaiwan. Followed Teavivre’s steeping instructions: flash rinse, 10 seconds, 15, 15, 25, 35, 60.
I was not expecting to be blasted by such a cocoa bean-like aroma from the dry leaf. So sweet, a touch bitter. The heated leaf uncannily resembles those times in which my house is filled with the smell of brownies in the oven, then you take those brownies a douse them with chocolate syrup. Hit with hot water, the leaf initially smells of sweet potato skin, clove, and malt. Later in the session, the aroma comes back to cocoa.
The liquor is a beautifully clear golden orange and has a full body and smooth texture. The flavor profile doesn’t undergo change throughout the session. From the first infusion to the end, I taste honey, molasses, and sweet potato (no skin), leaving me with a grain-like aftertaste and a slightly dry mouth.
This is another excellent hongcha offering from Teavivre. I enjoyed it thoroughly.