Only had gongfu and was definitely better in the clay gaiwan than the porcelain pot. The clay muted some of the roast, though by now, several years after I bought this tea, it is mellow.
Dry nuggets smelled of roast, figs, wood, brown sugar, chocolate carob. Warmed smelled very sweet and dark, rich with dark brown sugar, dried black figs, dried blueberries, florals, dark chocolate. Reminded me of a flourless chocolate cake make with a dark, fruity cocoa powder. The rinsed leaf became woody and pungent, with cooked green beans, seaweed snacks, eggplant, earth and something like tomato ketchup. Also floral — don’t ask how the florals fit in, but they did.
The brew was surprisingly complex and gentle. Thick, sweet mineral water body with a sheer overlay of pear florals, chocolate and dried fruits. Very warming, spicy chili pepper feeling in the mouth, a bit of a throat catch from the lingering roast. Plenty of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg were revealed later along with caramel, earth, grass, pine, cedar and coffee. Lingering mineral-caramel aftertaste turned to apricot skin. I noticed the aroma later with hazelnut chocolate and with this, the taste became more like roasted nuts, plant stems and camphor.
Really well done traditional Taiwanese tieguanyin dark roast. The roast brings out all those complex sweet, dark and fruity notes while leaving the liquor rather light and playful. Pleasantly warming for a December day.
Flavors: Apricot, Biting, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Earth, Fig, Floral, Grass, Green Beans, Hazelnut, Mineral, Nutmeg, Pear, Pepper, Pine, Plant Stems, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Seaweed, Spicy, Sweet, Thick, Vegetables, Wood