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This tea is certainly a yummy one, and one that I’ll be savoring for as long as I can. The quality is apparent right from the beginning in the dry leaves. They have this elegant appearance, with graceful twists and a variety of shapes. The dark brown-black color gives ode to some hidden power the tea possesses while the brittle nature of the texture play on it’s many subtle flavors. Smelling the leaves results in a heady, rich aroma of roasted hay and that characteristic Wuyi scent.

Add water and the leaves give off an incredibly intense aroma of pine sap, musty notes, and burnt oak logs. The resulting liquor smells of Da Hong Pao, is sweet and thickly floral, with undertones of sandalwood. A sip from the first steep explodes with flavor: ripe bananas, honey, malt, florals, and sometimes I can even detect a touch of cocoa. The mouthfeel is extra thick, leathery smooth, and so very juicy. Into the next couple of steeps, the fruity flavors from the first steep become more prominent and develop into tastes of dark berries and add tartness, complementing the sticky sweetness of the banana and honey flavors nicely. Sandalwood flavors also become apparent, and the liquor’s aroma expands into something that reminds me of a holiday candle. It’s nice, homey, and reminiscent of late autumn afternoons.

Into the fourth and fifth steeps, the banana flavors subside and a creamier mouthfeel develops as woodier flavors take control. Berries become less pronounced and a thick prune-like flavor rounds out the wood. In the next few steeps, the taste becomes spicier, musty, peaty, and earthy, transforming into more of a pu’er with a rounder, thicker body. At this point the aftertaste has become fruity and sticky with undertones of this weak black tea flavor. The steeps round out in the ’teens with sweet, licorice-like flavors and a subdued ripe fruit flavor.

Preparation
Boiling

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Bio

I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Teaware
Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.

Location

Fort Myers, Florida

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