This is the first “dark” tea I have tried. Alistair from What-Cha says this tea is produced like a shou pu-erh so I have no comparisons to draw with tea of that variety being my first. I have the September 2020 harvest of this tea and I do wonder what aging will do to it. This brew was definitely an acquired taste for me given its strong medicinal, clean, damp and earthy clay taste on the first couple steeps. It was nice to drink this tea in the morning to wake up, and the feeling it imparted was enjoyable. It left a warm feel in my upper chest that felt like a relaxing hug lasting for an extended duration during and after the session; a different feeling from just hot tea traveling down the gullet. On the third steep, the strong medicinal feel starts to fade into a sweeter dough-like, lighter mossy clay/ loamy taste. I would say that from the third steep to the fifth steep was where the tea shined brightest, as the medicinal taste got weaker. It feels rewarding to get to those steeps in a sense.
The body of this tea is outstanding: very thick/creamy & smooth lasting all five steeps in my session. I brewed this tea western style in a porcelain pot and tea basket, as it is the only one I have currently. I am working on getting a clay pot or two for pu-erhs and roasted oolongs for gong-fu sessions in the near future, as I do wonder how much the teaware and brewing method affects the profile of the tea experience, but I am still learning about what’s what with unglazed pots, clay, and pu-erh tea, scrounging Reddit and forums for affirmation (lol), guidance and ideas, since they all cost a pretty penny. Off that tangent…
I did a 10 second rinse before my first steep in my teacup and I did end up drinking that supercharged, clean loamy brew. My first 3 pots were all 2 minute steeps, it held up and kept its dark brown hue for those steeps. Overall my 5 steeps, represented in minutes were: 2-2-2-3-6.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Clay, Creamy, Loam, Medicinal, Mud, Thick, Wet Earth, Wet Moss