Just tried a sample of this one that I picked up a few months ago. I’m fairly certain I want a cake of it now. The dry leaf smelled a little bit aged, with a slight leather aroma. After a rinse, it was more fruity or floral, with straw and a sweet vanilla aroma. I also got a bit of some kind of spice, maybe cloves…hardly detectable.
For the first 7 or so steeps, this tea had a slight vegetal front, followed by a pretty intense sweet finish, exhibiting flavors of vanilla, milkiness, and slightly floral. Combined with the nice thickness, it reminded me of the mixture which you dip bread in to make french toast – a little bit eggy, like I was drinking cake batter. Sometimes, seemingly at random, as I wasn’t really varying the infusion time in these early steeps, the flavor would be a slight bit woody or barky and drying before the sweet finish came through.
The second part of the session, which I took to nearly 20 steeps, was a little bit less vegetal with sweetness that was less intense. The flavor at the front of the sip was a soft fruitiness, which was followed by a thick sweetness with now a little bit of honey to complement the vanilla notes. I could sometimes pick out apricot from the fruity flavors, but sometimes not. Around steep 8, I felt a bit of qi starting to rise up from my stomach, but that wasn’t a heavy component of this tea for me. The tea continued much the same as this for the remaining steeps – it was a really enjoyable session.
I’m glad I decided to sample this along with W2T’s 2016 lineup. It seems to have a good head start in the aging department, so I could see myself (if funds allow) picking up one cake to drink whenever and one to just stash in the back of my pumidor.
Flavors: Apricot, Bark, Cloves, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla, Vegetal