Tonight, I’m hopping in the wayback machine and posting a review of one of my August sipdowns. Prior to trying this tea, I had never tried a Wuyi Que She, though I had previously done a little research on the cultivar. Honestly, I was not well prepared for this tea. It was not how I expected it to be, but rather than striking me as a pleasant surprise, I found it to be more on the disappointing side. My experience with this tea definitely did not make me want to rush into trying more Que She in the near future.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of dark chocolate, pine, charcoal, smoke, raisin, and cinnamon. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of lychee, roasted peanut, roasted almond, vanilla, and blueberry. The first infusion introduced aromas of peach and blackberry. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of pine, smoke, charcoal, dark chocolate, raisin, cream, and roasted almond that were chased by hints of blueberry, earth, grass, black cherry, and roasted peanut. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of black cherry, brown sugar, orange zest, cranberry, and orchid. Blackberry and vanilla notes appeared in the mouth alongside subtle impressions of peach and lychee and more amplified flavors of blueberry, black cherry, earth, grass, and roasted peanut. I also picked up notes of minerals, orchid, orange zest, cranberry, and spinach as well as hints of cannabis, cinnamon, brown sugar, tar, butter, coffee, pear, and roasted carrot. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized mineral, raisin, roasted peanut, and vanilla notes that were complimented by some late popcorn flavor and even more amplified impressions of earth and butter. These flavors were then balanced by hints of orange zest, grass, smoke, charcoal, cranberry, black cherry, pine, and roasted carrot.
This was something of a confusing and awkward tea for me. It faded quickly, and not all of its aromas and flavors came together in a way that was satisfying. The body of the tea liquor was also rather thin and watery, which resulted in it coming across as bland and prematurely washed out when coupled with its sharp, mineral-heavy texture. Overall, I wasn’t happy with this one. There was a lot of complexity and some very interesting and likable components on display here, but as a whole, this tea just came across as a muddled, confused, disjointed mess.
Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cannabis, Carrot, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Coffee, Cranberry, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Grass, Lychee, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Pine, Popcorn, Raisins, Roasted, Smoke, Spinach, Tar, Vanilla