I’ve had three sessions with this tea. First time I had it alone in a porcelain gaiwan. I found the tea to have a lot of complexity and breadth, but not nearly enough depth given the price point. At the same time, the cha qi was among the strongest I’ve ever felt from any tea, let alone a black tea.
The second time I drank it at a party with friends, and thus I didn’t pay all that much attention to it. Finally, today I brewed it in my newly acquired silver teapot – as a first black tea to try it with. The outcome is quite remarkable, the tea feels much more well-defined in silver. It has a proper backbone now, which was lacking in both of the two previous sessions. There is much more of the dark chocolate bitterness, and lots more sweetness, especially the returning molasses sweetness in the aftertaste.
It is thus quite a demanding black tea. First of all, it demands attention, but it seems to also really need fairly specific parameters to uncover its full potential (I suspect one could achieve good results by playing around with the water used or using a nice clay pot, not just a silver one).
In terms of specific notes, from the dry leaves I got a strong woody one complemented by molasses and prunes. Throughout the session, there are also aromas of candle smoke, black cardamon, resin, moss, and cocoa beans.
The taste is likewise woody and resinous. It is smooth and sweet with a bitterness of dark chocolate. In the cooling aftertaste, I also noticed hints of butter and pinecones, as well as an intensified cocoa bean note.
The mouthfeel is buttery and smooth. It can get a little bubbly and has a medium body.
Probably the most memorable aspect, however, is the stupefying and defocusing full body sensation. While drinking this tea, I frequently need to lie down as my body feels very light and I imagine flying up in the clouds.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Cardamom, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Molasses, Moss, Pine, Prune, Resin, Smooth, Sweet, Wood