107 Tasting Notes
This tea is unroasted.
Wet leaves have the aroma of slightly sour and tart raspberries. Almost like the yeasty smell of a lambic beer. Crisp and clean flavor; a little nutty like a White Peony tea. The dark amber color in the cup would imply a much thicker texture or a roasted tea, but infusion after infusion it continues crisp and clean on the tongue with just a hint of nuttiness and a smoothness that sets it above Bai Mu Dan. At the fourth infusion (done at 3 minutes) the taste is like puffed rice: sweet and mouth-filling. I think this tea would do best infused a little longer than other oolongs. Infusion five I brewed for 4.5 minutes and he flavor continues smooth and sweet. No dryness or astringency at all. The wet leaves are huge after they unroll!
This was harvested from Feng Huang mountain in November.
Dry leaves have the aroma of licorice candy and smoked ham. The smoky sweetness fills the mouth similar to the aroma of a good Tung Ting, but without the flowers. A caramel aftertaste lingers. A creamy texture flows over the subsequent infusions, mingling with a slight dryness that remains on the tongue, although not unpleasantly so.
Very light, but undeniably sweet and rich. The light artichoke flavor often found in a well-made sencha, blended with the delicate peony flower taste. The aroma of the wet leaves is that of an unroasted Tung Ting: a flowery green. As it progresses, the Tung Ting light caramel flavor begins to assert itself and the other flavors fade away.
Infusion 1 was just a rinse. Too light to discern any real flavor. Number two had the surprising Japanese tea aroma mixed with the flowery one. Three was the best, filling the mouth with the flowers of the mountain. Four maintains the body and the flowery taste, but the Sencha qualities had fled; much more like a light roast Tung Ting. Five begins to lose its nuances, although it does still have the carmel flavor. Six I brewed at four minutes and you can still taste the mountains. As it was clear that the flavor was almost gone I tried brewing a Seventh infusion for 7 minutes: surprisingly there was not a hint of astringency, only a very mild hint of a flowering mountainside in the distance.
Golden straw liquor, aroma of fresh lillies with a slight hint of something richer: a gingerbread sweetness. Flavor is buttery sweet lightly grilled asparagus with a gentle dryness in the finish. The aroma in the mouth lingers for quite a while.
At the start of each sip, a full body creeps up behind the aroma and very briefly threatens to overwhelm the flavor, but then fades into the background just as quickly. It’s as though the tea were trying to get my attention before the flavor soaks in. This effect is most pronounced in the second and fourth infusions.
Some notes: I infused this in a small yixing pot purchased in Maokong, Taiwan.
As of infusion five I still had quite a lot of flavor, but the aroma began to dissipate into more memory than scent. Infusions six and seven still held true: full body and fantastic flavor. Eight still has the color, but the flavor begins to follow the aroma into the past. Nine is impressively still sweet with a silky mouthfeel, but the flowers have disappeared. Infusion ten continues to be golden, although quite translucent and contains just the barest hint of Alishan at the top of the mouth and in the lingering sweetness at the back of the throat; still impressive.
Infusions 1-4 were 50 seconds. 5-8 were 1 minute. Infusion 9 was 1.5 minutes, and for 10 I allowed a full 2 minutes. The water was hot all around.
A healing cup (the last of our supply) really settles the mind and body after a rather sweet breakfast this morning. The amber liquor was never overly dark, and had a comforting sweetness with a very light touch of citrus. Not overly dry, and with a gentle touch on the front of the tongue.
The wet leaves really do have the aroma of watermelon seeds, or at least pumpkin seeds. Their appearance is that of steamed spinach. Rich green large leaves with a real depth of color and a delicate curl. The infusion is sour-sweet, again reminiscent of fresh steamed spinach. The second infusion is even more rich, a golden-green glow to the bottom of the cup.
Brewing this tea in a gaiwan with hot water for a very short time (gong Fu style) is a luxury. I did about 10 second infusions and the flavor is so chocolatey and rich, the aroma brimming with hints of coffee beans. The liquer is red-gold, just like the glowing wet leaves. At the moment the tea fills the mouth there is also a roasted chestnut quality to it that draws you in. I’m on infusion two and I suspect I will get many more to come!