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The cake has a tight compression and a light, sweet aroma. The first steep begins light to medium in strength, but the body feels full and seems to foreshadow the strength in the upcoming infusions of thick, dark orange soup. The flavors tend toward the fruity spectrum and are mostly simple in style, while the body is malty and full of “dark” sweetness, thick and ripe like prunes. Later, more smoky and woody notes climb in, and create a very balanced complexity.

The soup begins slowly and softly with a thick mouthfeel, introducing basic sweet and salty aspects. It develops into a long and waxing complexity across a second or two duration, where the flavors mentioned above begin to grow and amass one after the other. At this point, a throaty kuwei slowly emerges. It is, like the other aspects of this tea, deep. The bitterness isn’t sharp and is more “felt” than tasted. There are some drying effects towards the front of the mouth, but the throat remains moist. It reaches a medium to strong intensity as far as flavors go, before fading slowly to a stable finish that doubles as a long-lasting aftertaste. I found this to be a very interesting quality with this tea, as I usually find the sip’s finish fades before a complimentary, yet distinct aftertaste (with a slightly different flavor) emerges after the swallow. With this shengpu, the soup’s form descends to a stable and subtle intensity that simply “sticks,” lingering for quite some time. Finally, seconds after the swallow, a coolness begins to develop that intensifies as the session progresses. After the second steep, my body is calmed and warmed to the point of sweating, causing my neck and ears to become flushed.

Overall I am really pleased with this one and impatiently await the effects of a bit of age on it. The tea presents an interesting textural experience, but is not without intrigue in the flavor department. Plus, it has an elephant on the wrapper, which adds just a touch more awesomeness to it.

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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