Ancient Forest. That sounds interesting. The name alone sounds appealing to me. Something that sparks the imagination. I like that. Apparently this is a Yunnan tea, so I’m curious if it will taste similar to the Yunnans I’m familiar with. Sort of pepper-y/smoky and with spicyness and sweet hay notes underneath.
The aroma is certainly similar. It’s sweet and haylike, with some prickly spicyness teasing the nose. But it’s also different. It’s a lot more grainy and rye bread-y than what I expect in a Yunnan tea. It’s actually so much so that I’m reminded more of the beloved Tan Yang than straight up Yunnan.
That’s really interesting. If one was to blend Tan Yang and your average Golden Yunnan 1:1, I wonder if the result would be something that smelled something like this.
But that’s really where the Tan Yang similarity stop. The flavour is very Yunnan-y, and the grainy aspect is not as prominent here. It’s still there, but it has retreated to the background, making place for that sweet hay and spice that is typical to the region.
It’s quite smooth and only a little prickly on the swallow, but what you find here is a very definite note of pepper. I have previously been unable to decide whether I experienced that particular note in Yunnans as more pepper-like or more pseudo-smoky, and I vascilated back and forth between the two with each Yunnan I drank and sometimes with each sip from the same cup. Here, it is very definitely pepper and there’s absolutely no doubt about that.
It’s very definitely a tea with all the typical Yunnan characteristics, but it’s utilising them in a way that just feels different. Older. More experienced. This is like the wise old grandmother, where the Golden Yunnans are the more adventurous and sometimes rash youths.
So far, I believe this is the Yunnan I have liked the best so far. It’s a hearty and full-bodied tea, and it’s just interesting. Even after having attempted to analyse the flavour profile, it’s still like I can’t get quite finished tasting it.