Okay, I’m back with some more reviews. I thought I was going to have time to post a couple yesterday afternoon, but I ended up driving to Flemingsburg for a job interview with the KY Department of Transportation. Truthfully, I did not want to go due to not feeling particularly well, but I decided not to turn down the opportunity. It was cool. I got to hang out at the Fleming County Public Library and see a pretty covered bridge and lots of attractive farmland. I also stopped in Morehead to wolf down ice cream and greasy food at Cook Out. I then drove home and immediately went to bed. Is it normal for a 35 year old man to go to bed at 7:23 pm on a Monday? Probably not, but it was enjoyable. I would do it again. Anyway, let’s move on and talk tea. This was another of my sample sipdowns from the summer. I had no clue what to expect prior to trying this tea, but it ended up being an excellent old tree Shui Xian.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a standard 10 second rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This initial infusion was chased by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.
Prior to rinsing, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of char, blueberry, black cherry, baked bread, red grape, cinnamon, and black raspberry. After the rinse, aromas of orchid, smoke, plum, grass, and roasted almond emerged. The first infusion introduced an aroma of rock sugar and a much subtler roasted peanut scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of char, cinnamon, orchid, black raspberry, mushroom, toasted rice, blueberry, and roasted almond that were balanced by hints of baked bread, blackberry, plum, smoke, rock sugar, grass, caramel, wood, and red grape. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of orange zest, blackberry, toasted rice, roasted barley, and mushroom. Stronger and more immediately notable impressions of baked bread, wood, blackberry, plum, red grape, and rock sugar appeared in the mouth alongside mineral, orange zest, roasted barley, black cherry, and roasted peanut notes. Hints of earth, peach, moss, black currant, and pear could also be found here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor started emphasizing mineral, wood, roasted almond, blackberry, red grape, blueberry, toasted rice, baked bread, and roasted barley notes that were chased by delicate hints of earth, grass, moss, mushroom, orange zest, plum, black cherry, roasted peanut, caramel, and cinnamon.
This was an incredibly interesting and satisfying old tree Shui Xian with a ton to offer. I picked up some notes in this tea that I do not often find in Wuyi Shui Xian, but they worked. I also noted that this tea produced a liquor that had an incredibly lively presence and tremendous longevity on the nose and in the mouth. Everything about it just screamed quality. At this point, all I can really add is that I wholeheartedly recommend this tea. It may very well be among the best Shui Xian I have ever tried.
Flavors: Almond, Black Currant, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Caramel, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Grapes, Grass, Mineral, Moss, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Plum, Raspberry, Smoke, Sugar, Toasted Rice, Wood