Foggy morning <3
Dry leaf has the characteristic scent of Old Ways Tea’s hongcha – very floral orchid-sunflower, grassy, woody, malty. I can see the lichen impression they mention. It smells like being inside the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, or within a misty mountain forest. Their hongcha is magical <3
Warming the leaf amplifies the aromas of the dry leaf and adds a deep richness akin to sunflower butter.
The brewed aroma, taste and aftertaste are very structured and seamless. The anchoring impression is a clear, fresh yellow cedar with nuances of almond, leather and malt. Mixed in is the tanginess of golden apple with lesser notes of lychee, honey, lemon and zest, orange zest. I attribute oats to the creamy impression. And of course, there is the orchid-sunflower grassy florality that lies atop all of this and spreads itself throughout. A hint of camphor. The bottom of the cup smell is very rich and sweet with golden syrup, almond, maybe something berry and tiny sparks of cinnamon and chocolate. The progression of taste sees the rise of the citrusy notes while still retaining the others with less intensity.
The tea is medium-bodied, smooth and swallows juicy with later steeps bringing out a coating mouthfeel and some tannins before going smooth again. The minerality is clean and induces salivation with the first steep.
This is a very durable tea. I usually brew Wuyi hongcha at 200F and get sometimes only 6 good infusions before it’s depleted. This one I started at 200F and later pushed it to water off the boil. I was able to get 14+ pours from this tea. Western brewing gives three good cups with the first 2 having a richer feel than brewing in a gaiwan.
Call me a fangirl.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Berry, Camphor, Cedar, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Honey, Leather, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Orange Zest, Orchid, Smooth, Tangy, Tannin