I guess I’ll be the first civilian foolish enough to talk about this tea.
As soon as you unseal the bag and get that heady aroma that’s been trapped in there, you know you’re in for something different.
I actually got out a kitchen scale, weighed my gaiwan, and then weighed in David’s recommended gram of leaf per fluid ounce of the vessel.
Uncharacteristic of myself, I even gave the leaves a rinse so that I could ensure the first steeping I drank came off “awake” leaves.
The aroma off the wet leaves will leave you speechless. It is like that sensation you get when you walk into a humidor. I don’t mean the tea smells like cigars, although, to some extent I think perhaps it does, what I mean is that there is a particular physical sensation that goes beyond smell, when you walk into the damp, close, still, thickly scented air of a humidor. And smelling this tea leaf once wet, is like that.
With the first steep I understand what Geoffrey and David have been describing in terms of texture. Drinking this tea reminds me of the sensation one gets in the mouth after engaging in wuji qigong for the better part of an hour. There is at the same time a thickness of the mouth but your mouth is watering at the same time. I’ve now been typing, and taking a conference call, and haven’t sipped the tea for perhaps ten minutes and my sinuses are still registering all the aromas and tingling sensations and my mouth is still watering and thick.
I can actually feel the small heavenly circle flowing rapidly and if I were to stand up and correct my posture, I suspect the grand heavenly circle would open up almost immediately.
My ears are ringing.
I actually need to wait a few steeps to even begin using adjectives to describe the aromas off the leaf or the cup or the flavors from the liqueur. Neither my mouth nor my brain are entirely awake right now and I know that strictly speaking neither is this tea. So, expect a follow up later today with all kinds of pretentious wine tasting words in it.