Opening the foil pack, vacuum-formed around the tea nuggets, I’m greeted by a fresh, green and fruity scent. Aaaah, the new crop is such a fine event! The rolled-up tea is smaller than other batches of Ali Shan I’ve had, and this is borne out later by the smaller-than-usual wet leaves. I covered the bottom of the glass gaiwan a couple of layers deep in the green half-balls of tea and poured on a little hot water, dumping it immediately for a quick rinse. The first steep astonishes me with its thickness, coating mouth and throat with buttery goodness. I thought I got a whiff of grain, or perhaps popcorn, in there, too. Very tasty. Second steep, sweeter, with intermittent notes of lilac and rose. Good flavor and aroma, even though the liquor of each steep tends quite pale yellow-green. Fourth steep, at 5 min long, the gaiwan is full of leaves and the tea’s full body continues. I’m still drinking greedily, almost hungrily … it’s that satisfying and thirst-quenching … and I did a 5th infusion, too. The rich texture and buttery taste are what make this tea most memorable for me. I’m really enjoying it!