144 Tasting Notes
Smells like Medjool dates, freshly cut wood and molasses. Tastes savory-sweet like ginseng and licorice root, but the best part is the unmistakably brisk, malty taste of . . . red (aka black) tea. A very clean tea taste constitutes the base of the flavor profile and remains in the aftertaste along with notes of marinated steak and dried roses. Yup.
Smells like Yunnan, tastes like Yunnan.
Wet leaves smell like aguapanela (with lime) and a walk in the woods after rain. There is a soft mouthfeel and really nice caramelized sweetness like a grade “A” Fancy maple syrup (the very light one) in the body that balances the light astringency that takes over on the back end. What makes this one unique is the slightly wild, wooded element and the specter of smoked herbs amidst the softer, sweeter aspects. The immediate aftertaste is somewhat cidery and a little medicinal, but the lingering taste is akin to artificial sweetener or splenda. Unfortunate.
Subsequent steepages bring out aromas of cooked stone fruit and fresh wild mushrooms (the ones that you really want to eat). Starts to taste more like that puerh funk I’ve been waiting for. Roasted seaweed and sour prune paste. Still very sweet but still very splenda. I forgot the term for the flavor of the air that comes up from the throat. Sticky and awesome.
Very accessible though maybe a bit too easy for me. When I reach for puerh I want more of a challenge and if not for the faint smokiness, which is actually really nice, this would possibly be a fairly shallow experience. Use it to convert someone who swears they hate puerh. Say it’s a semi-fermented Yunnan green and they’ll love it ; )
Dayum this one smells good. Not the deepest or most mystifying Dan Cong in the land, it is VERY fruit forward with a pleasant dryness reminiscent of cheap white wine (Franzia Chablis?). Not much bottom end and the aftertaste is somewhat medicinal though still very nectarine.
Spend a lot of time just taking in the dry and wet leaf aromas and the deficiencies in taste will seem minor. I kind of like box wine anyway.
The sharp, brothy green element dominates this tea over warm and subtly honeyed flavors underlying the body. The extra fermentation adds wonderful depth, softness and a marvelous aftertaste to what would have been a potentially bracing experience kind of like adding dried fruit to a salad of bitter greens and walnuts.
I have had good Chinese green teas recently and yellow tea has always been at the top of my list so this one really hits the mark in that it immediately presents characteristics of both. There is an intriguing interplay between the brothy, green aspect and an underlying succulent fruitiness. One takes a fleeting prevalence over the other as the flavor moves but in the end any vegetal notes are enveloped and eventually vanquished by a syrupy muscatel.
Dry leaf aroma is of typical warm citrus and the wet leaf smells like a baked plum tart. The liquor strikes immediately with bright, fruity notes that are very forward though not sharp in the least and is somewhat complex without being very deep. The mouthfeel is ultra smooth and lingers with an aftertaste of peach candy and delicate butterscotch. It’s a very interesting tea that has the fruity characteristics of yellow tea and a the soft malt and slightly metallic immediacy of red tea all the while carrying the typical exotic and amiable flamboyance of its namesake.
Considering the story behind this tea (read Ginko’s blog) and the pains taken by the grower to salvage an otherwise devastated crop, we are now privy to what I consider to be a unique gem, albeit cloudy and roughly cut. Enjoy in this cup not only the tea itself but also the deftness and earnest attitude of its producer. Much thanks to Gingko for sharing this with us. For the price I suggest everyone try some as I feel it will be hard not to love and appreciate.