Dry leaf: overwhelming aromas of roasted peaches, apricots and figs.
Wet leaf: Even. More. Overwhelming. Aromas.
This is either going to be the best Yunnan I’ve had, or it is going to be so bold and sweet I’ll absolutely hate it. But, that will be a matter of my taste, not the quality of the tea. “Rare” grade, indeed.
1st ~ Aaannnd… mmmmmmm… Oh. Man. When I go through these long stretches of saving money buying tea at the market instead of ordering direct, I forget just HOW MUCH BETTER these teas are than what you can get from big retailers.
For all the boldness in the leaf this is a remarkably shy first steep. Cacao (not cocoa), fig and a mild finishing astringency which keeps the sweetness from becoming too cloying.
2nd ~ This is making me want to either re-locate my work computer into the kitchen next to the kettle, or move the kettle into the office next to my computer. I can’t keep my cup full long enough or refill it quickly enough.
This tea helps you understand why people started adding honey to lesser teas. The roasted fruit is mellowing into more like a buckwheat honey (if you have never had very dark amber, buckwheat honey, it will COMPLETELY change how you think about honey) and the balance of the fast sweetness and lingering dryness remains intact.
3rd ~ Already even softer. Perhaps the exchange for this amazing flavor profile is that the candle is burning at both ends and we may only get but a handful of steeps from the leaf.
All in all, a FANTASTIC leaf.