This tea is an interesting one. My first real foray into any of W2T’s higher tiers. It took a couple sessions with this one for me to really figure it out at all. After the first session, I was slightly underwhelmed. The flavor seemed a little bit lighter than I expected and it was rather unremarkable. I think I just didn’t pay it enough attention the first time, as the second session was much better. To me, this tea was a bit more about feeling and texture than overt flavor. I think I was more homed in on this fact the second session, which helped me get more out of it.
I didn’t find this tea particularly bitter, as some people have mentioned. There certainly is some bitterness to it, but was rather tame to me. Flavors were vegetal, normally with a slightly fruity finish. In later steeps, it was more like wet hay in the front instead. If I had to characterize the fruity notes more specifically, I would say like dried pineapple, but nowhere near as sweet. In early steeps, I also got an interesting sweetness I would say is reminiscent of baking spices…like I was drinking a snickerdoodle.
As I said above, I think this tea was more about the feeling and texture than the taste. It was thick, but not oily. In some steeps it seemed to be an almost buttery texture. Made my mouth feel tingly and numb for most of the session. In some of the middle steeps, I could also feel it more in my belly – not tingling, but like a warmth (separate from the actual warmth of the liquid) dropping down there. It was a relaxing tea, not making me feel hyper, like some teas do.
This is definitely a tea I had to pay more attention to than I do many of the other teas I drink. I think I’m going to find that the case with most of the higher end sheng that I’m starting to get into trying. This one kind of struck me as Milk, Cream, and Alcohol’s bigger and more complex brother. It is more subtle, but has some of the same attributes going for it. Perhaps unsurprising, as they’re both Menghai material from the same year sourced by the same person.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Fruity, Spices, Straw, Thick, Vegetal