Just revisited this tea to give it a proper note.
>Dry Leaf Appearance/Aroma
Large thin twisted leaves with long stems. Dark in color with some light brown. Very aromatic, with notes of honey, oranges, and nuts.
4oz gaiwan, Boiling water, gong-fu style with 2 rinses. 10 infusions.
Clear light golden color, which eventually transforms to a deeper orange/golden color.
The first two cups were similar. Light in taste with a very subtle honey sweet fragrance. Subtle notes of red apple, maybe some nuts, and honey.
Starting from the 3rd cup, the aroma in the tea began to have a gentle spiciness added to it. While the tea itself remained mostly the same, a dry citrusy finish began to emerge. This “finish” eventually culminated in the 5th cup, where the tea left your mouth with a dry feeling similar to that of biting into a dry orange rind. I also noted a slight mouthwatering sensation.
In the 6th and 7th cup, I noted the texture getting a little more velvety, with the citrus notes more noticeable but without the intense dryness from previous cups.
From the 8th to 10th cup, the texture of the tea became so good. Verdant describes it as “dessert tea” and I agree with the spot on description. Creamy, sweet, citrusy, velvety, honey… can’t think of any other words that can appropriately describe the texture during these late steepings.
I ended the session after 10 steeps.
>Wet Leaf Appearance
LARGE long leaves. Leaves now were in a brownish-green color.
While I did enjoy this tea, especially towards the end, I have mixed feelings on this one. Described as a “shapeshifter,” the changes were very subtle and mostly in texture. It also takes many re-steeps to see the tea evolve, making it a slightly time consuming process. I steeped this tea 10 times hoping to explore most of what it had to offer, but reading over Verdant’s tasting notes, I’m not even halfway there. This means that despite the relative high price, this tea keeps on giving and giving, even during my last infusion I felt like I was just getting to know this tea. This is definitely not a bad thing, but I feel its not a good thing either.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, this truly is a tea you have to dedicate yourself to. You have to give yourself time and patience to properly brew this to fully explore its offerings, and even then, the flavor profile might not suit your tastes for the time spent on preparing it. I personally enjoyed this one and would like to drink it a little more. But considering the price per ounce, I might just bring it out every now and then, probably just for long gong-fu sessions with friends or when I feel like it. Otherwise I feel like I’m not really making a good use of this great tea.