This sample arrived as a cluster of intact, long spindly leaves from the gently compressed edge of a cake that appears to have been processed with finesse. When dry, the leaves have a faint floral and sweet grass aroma. When dry, there is a nutty aroma of steamed Chinese mustard greens and fall wild flowers. I’ve noticed how flavor and overall visual impact are enhanced whenever leaves are pressed in a way that preserves their structural integrity.
The first few steeps have what I would describe as layered vegetal bitterness (steamed dandelion greens and wild herbs) with accents of floral notes. There is a three-dimensional aspect to this tea’s mouthfeel. Subtle cooling vibrations are initially felt at the back of the tongue then move simultaneously to middle and the roof of the mouth. Decent qi on this one that’s as grounding as it is heady, but never overwhelming.
Sampling Scott’s 2016 line has allowed me to learn that some teas under 1 year old are best left to rest for a year after being pressed. Right now, the 2015 Huang Shan Gu Shu is showing much improvement in terms of flavors, texture, and fragrance than it had this past spring.
I think this tea, along with the 2016 Da Qing Gu Shu and CLT’s 2016 Hidden Song (coming soon), needs more time to rest so that individual flavors and textures can be further developed and enjoyed. It seems only right that to treat good teas with a bit of respect and patience. I will update this log next year.