I got this sample from Liquid Proust a long time ago – I was surprised to see this tea was still in stock at Tea Urchin. I remember trying the 2011 Bang Wei and being impressed with the powerful qi it boasted, so I was going into this session expecting something similar. The dry leaves had a strong and sweet aroma – I would probably say tobacco-y as well. After a rinse, they smelled more vegetal, like cucumber with a strong zing to it.
The tea opened up with a crisp and slightly vegetal taste, followed by a straw finish. As the tea started to open up a bit more, it became much more reminiscent of hay in the front of the sip, with a bit of pine and some fruit in the aftertaste. As the session went on, the flavors deepened and intensified – the hay note in front of the sip became very sweet and intense, and the finish was almost milky and floral. I had a bit of a hard time putting my finger on all the different flavors which were swimming around in this one.
The qi was predictably strong. Around the third or fourth steep, I started to feel a bit of a buzzing in my head, which quickly spread to my throat, chest, and shoulders. More of a tea high than a mellow tea-drunk to this one. It actually got a little bit too intense at one point and I had to give this tea a break and grab a bite to eat. It made me feel sort of light and nauseous – but it was bizarre, as I felt the nausea more in my throat than in my stomach where I’d normally associate that feeling. I must say, it was slightly unpleasant – seems like a tea you might want to enjoy in lower doses than normal sheng parameters, or just make sure you’ve eaten recently enough that it won’t upset your stomach. I still have a small amount of this left, so maybe I’ll try in a little gaiwan with a lighter ratio.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Hay, Pine, Straw