Master Han is someone whose teas I have conflicting feelings about. I respect the craftsmanship and appreciate the complexity of his teas, but often find that I don’t actually enjoy the flavor of them. So it was on a huge whim (with coaxing from Verdant’s tasting notes) that I decided to grab a full 4 oz of this tea during their Pu’er sale.
I am so thankful for that whim! This tea is a joy.
The aroma of the dry leaves is mild — a nice woody smell with no mustiness. Once the water hits them it’s like a refreshing clean rain in a wood.
The flavor of the first two infusions is sweeter than I expected and has an apple/pear flavor to it. However it’s not so singularly fruity like some Pu’er tea I’ve had, there’s a light woody and earthy flavor lurking in the background, almost like when the apples were pressed there were a few leaves and a small branch that snuck in.
As the infusions continue the flavor slowly shifts toward spice and bread. Some sips bring to mind my family’s lightly spiced cardamom bread and others a subtle poundcake flavor. And at just the right temperature there’s a hint of clove in there.
Throughout the brewing session this tea has been incredibly creamy and smooth.
This tea is a great all-arounder. There’s a decent level of complexity to it for when you really want to experience your tea, but it’s also eminently drinkable when you just want a good cuppa. In addition a strong brew is a great warming winter brew, but if you went a little lighter this would make a GREAT iced tea.
When drinking this tea I highly recommend gong fu brewing. My first experiences with it were western brewing and I was left really disappointed by the muddled flavor, but the gong fu sessions have been an absolute treat. In the week I’ve had this tea I’ve already had 3 sessions with it!