Following up on my comparitive tasting from last week I wanted to drink this tea by itself. As W2T gave a pretty good sample size I decided I would brew it lightly tonight and then probably do a heavier brew and a boiling session. Tonights light sesh used about 2 grams in my 70 ml gaiwan. This tea is balanced and delicate. Early notes show signs of white flowers (white peony), honey, paper, and a clean grain/malt note. This develops into a medium bodied brew which has all of the above attributes with a nice finish of berries and a hint of dark fruit sweetness. There is an additional flavor of autumn leaves and a bookish-ness to it. Hints of baking spice fade in and out. The finish is clean and sweet and slowly goes in and out for a few minutes. The energy of this tea is very pure and uplifting. This is very clean tasting for an 11 year old tea. While it doesn’t draw mean in the way the 2008 shoumei did, this tea is a very clean and well stored aged white that requires a lot of attention but can be quite rewarding.
Been drinking this a lot this week as I’ve been very tired upon getting home from work and this has a good hit of caffiene/ uplifting qi. I tried brewing it heavier today, about 5g in my 70ml gaiwan. While the aroma was heavily amplified I found the character of the brew to be completely different. It was wood with a lot of foliage flavors and some vanilla and cinnamon here and there, but the berry like fruit notes turned into more of an oxidized fruit flavor in the vein of what you find in some Oriental Beauty oolongs. The body was much thicker as well, which I expected. The finish was less sweet but was longer and more pronounced with a hint of fruity acidity. No bitterness or astringency. I tried a few brews at a lower temp as well, these came out with a more pronounced acidity and a more forward fruitiness – really enjoyable.
I think my original 2g to 70ml produced a more nuanced and balanced brew, but the 5g/70ml was a full bodied brew that fits the winter season. The lower temp brews provided some interesting insight into how much this tea can change by adjusting a parameter or two.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berries, Cinnamon, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Vanilla, Wood