21 Tasting Notes
This is the oldest tea I have drank so far and it was quite an experience. The soup had the complexity of a dolma; the woody and vegetal grape leaf, starchiness like rice, and the bitterness of the olive oil. Steeps maintained an astringent mouthfeel throughout, but after 6 steeps the bitterness would grow and take over the flavors entirely. The strength of the bitterness reminded me of tonic water, not what I expected but not bad. The body effect from this tea was strengthening and warming to the core -similar to bitter dandelion greens in effect.
Flavors: Olive Oil, Rice, Vegetal
Received from Yunnan Sourcing’s US site.
My sample gave me a session of spicy tobacco, mulled wine and plum flavors. Throughout the steeps there was a balance of sweet and tart sensations that highlighted the fruit flavors beautifully. My session ended rather quickly with the leaves steeping brass and mineral flavors.
Flavors: Plum, Red Wine, Tobacco
Starting out, the dry leaf had a strong dried apricot aroma, which turned into sweet hay once wet. The soup transitioned from baking spices to a muted cedar aroma before plateauing with a buttery baked pear flavor. There was a spike of bitterness around steep four, but that quickly disappeared and left a syrupy and gentle infusion. I really enjoyed this teas flavors and was happy to take it to 15 steeps before it trailed off.
Flavors: Cedar, Pear, Spices
The wet leaf aroma from this tea reminded me of aromatic myrtle wood and decayed cottonwood, turning sharp as the steeps progressed. The soup was peaty, and extremely cooling with light dryness and a little bitterness. Flavors transitioned from moss to dandelion greens to spicy raw pumpkin before finishing with bland soil taste at steep 11. This was the first “wet aged” sheng I had ever tasted, and if blindfolded, I would have sworn this was a shou. This tea gave me great appreciation for how close the wet-piling process is to true aging.
Flavors: Dandelion, Earth, Peat Moss, Wet Wood
These little buds smell intensely of pine and stonefruits and, and the soup follows that profile closely. The first steeps tasted of peach, were drying to the mouth and had a pungent yet pleasing aftertaste that was hard to describe. The evergreen flavors really rolled in after four steps and gave the soup a green mango taste. The aftertaste was strong and sweet, yet refreshing as well. A slight sourness grew with each steep and the flavor turned into a sweet and vegetal clover-like aroma. These buds are really an amazing experience!
Flavors: Mango, Peach, Pine, Sap