3 Tasting Notes
I have the 2011 version which is developing nicely in my conditions so I bought the 2012 release.
I had several sessions with this one and this version is more mellow having less bitterness but a butt-load of sweetness. The first steeps start light but with a lot of mouth activity (minthyness, numbing) and aftertaste despite having no bitterness. The tea is relatively complex and dynamic. The base is vegetal and nutty sweetness, mid steeps have peachy notes, the aftertaste is sweet green beans and some smoke. Harder water can make it really oily whereas soft water brings out the complexities. OKisch longevity.
The energy is strong with this one. It hits early, part of it is definitely caffeine which makes my eyes wide open, yet, my body feels heavy and the vision is foggy when relaxed. The energy turns later into uplifting and focused.
Verdict? Very enjoyable at this point but i lack some good quality kuwei which would ensure further aging, although the thickness is promising. I will definitively minimize the airflow to prevent the tea going stale.
A decent tea and an above average xiaguan production. After a year in my pumidor the smell is getting more complex: a nice mix of sweetness, wood, tobacco, some fruits and just enough smoke to make it interesting. The taste is similar to the nose with good sweetness, bit of kuwei and some aftertaste. Good durability without turning rough in the late long steeps (what is rare for plantation teas). Some residual astringency which should transform with further age. Not a tea which will thrill you but a good mid aged sheng with a refined xiaguan profile.
Flavors: Plum, Smoke, Sweet, Walnut, Wood