As Scott mentions, this tea is strong, in its cha qi and bitterness, yet possesses a subtle complexity of flavours. Of course, that is nothing unusual for young sheng from ancient trees. Similarly, one often finds these kind of teas to be less uniform in picking. There is a decent amount of large leaves and stalks here, which gives the tea a bit more of a huang pian like taste profile. However, frankly, I find it hard to focus on any of the specifics when drinking it. The center of the stage is exclusively reserved for the stoning and defocusing energy that takes over as soon as I get to the second infusion. After 3 days of working almost non-stop and being quite tense as a result, this is something I desperately needed.
In any case, here are some specifics I observed from the couple of sessions I’ve had with the tea. When dry, I can smell hints of gooseberry, walnut bread, and Oregon grape; after the rinse scent akin to cabbage, gnocchi, and coriander emerge. Interestingly, the empty cup aroma is not so much honey-like as is so common in young sheng. Instead, there are notes of chewing gum, brown sugar, cloves, and cinnamon.
The taste is vegetal and bitter throughout the session with the bitterness being almost reminiscent of Ye Sheng varietal at times. Various flavours of herbs (basil, curry leaves) and nuts show up here and there, with a mushroom note often present in the finish. Late infusions also have a nice guava-like sour edge to them.
The aftertaste is metallic and a bit like a citrusy Dan Cong oolong. There is a black pepper spiciness, long lasting floral fragrance, and a strong huigan as well. As for the mouthfeel, it seems to be of a milky kind, thick, and very smooth. The cooling sensation is fairly noticeable too.
Flavors: Berry, Bitter, Black Pepper, Bread, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Citrusy, Cloves, Coriander, Floral, Guava, Herbaceous, Herbs, Metallic, Mushrooms, Nutty, Spicy, Vegetables, Vegetal, Walnut