You know, I have had a really interesting journey with this tea. I bought the Malaysian storage cake for my birthday in November last year and it was admittedly, from the get go, set up for being a disappointment. Their 2008 Bulang sold out the day I was going to buy it and was a tea I had saved up for and been wanting for a while and it selling out so close to when I was going to buy it made it seem like a cruel joke. I then decided to get the Kai Yuan Blue Stamp and it wouldn’t go in my cart so I kind of just jumped for this last minute. Of course the Kai Yuan was still available, and I had not noticed until the order of this shipped. Initially I got this and it did not have too much flavor nor smell, the strong qi written about on the website was not apparent and the bitterness was rough in a seemingly absurdly exaggerated way.I love bitter food and drink.
So I don’t know what happened, but its made a full 180. I now like it so much that it is reserved for drinking only on special occasions. And I do not give that designation for any ol’ tea.
The tea is like a crazy dense cake with a $%#& ton of dried fruit in it. It is HUGE in a lot of ways. Its energy is instant, you feel it travel down, sitting in your throat and warming your belly. By steeps 3 or 4 there is a whole heating of the body and goosebumps happen as the cold is pushed out of your body. By steeps 7 or 8 I am a sloppy drunk. Sober me in the recesses of my mind is thinking, “stop dancing” but the tea doesn’t allow me to stop. Its intense, a full body effect, and I keep sipping and sipping, each time a new flavor or texture or after taste is revealed to me. Bitterness courses throughout, a living breathing pulsing center to this tea, there from the beginning of the sip to the aftertaste. It is no longer overwhelming, but a definite spiky texture which slightly distinguishes it from many bitter sensations I have had.
This is a tea for when you have 3 or 4 hours or more of nothing to do. I highly recommend never drinking when you have something to do. I very much enjoy it and feel a constant pull towards its beautiful essence.
*Brewing tip: lower temperature but same amount of leaf is the key to this tea. Less leaf does not fix the bitterness, flash steeps do.