David included this as an extra sample in my most recent order from Verdant, And I’ve been putting off trying it until I had a large chunk of time to do a proper tasting.
The first cup was prepare with a 15 second steep in near boiling water. The tea has a very unique taste, very smooth and sweet when compared to other puerhs that I’ve had. The flavor starts by tingling across the tongue, then it moves up the mouth to linger on the hard palate for a good two minutes. I’m having a hard time picking out flavors, but I really feel that there is soemthing a bit fruity in this flavor profile. It’s interesting, since I’m reminded of raisins, yet it’s a very “juicy” or thirst-quenching tea, which is a pretty weird contradiction. It’s actually starting to remind me of something a bit more floral, and I’m actually pretty confused, but in a good way. Regardless, it’s a very pleasant and refined tea, and I can’t wait to see how it develops. I will certainly be looking forward to how the flavors start to emerge as the leaves open up a bit more.
Second cup, 10 second steep. The leaves have started to really open up, so this was a good deal stronger than the first cup. There’s a nice spice flavor that helps add a great deal of depth to the taste, and the texture is approaching creamy. The spice are kind of mild, not like cardamon or ginger, and it’s the subtlty that makes it so interesting. It’s a very interesting development, especially given how much the flavor of the first cup has strengthened. The aftertaste is the same, except for the the spiciness also lingers, but not for the full length. All in all, there were some great developments.
cup #2, part 2 – Interestingly enough, the tea gets a lot sweeter as it cools. The spice made the transition well, so It actually tastes really, really interesting. This really is a tea with hidden depths.
I decided to break these up a bit more, since I’m drinking a lot of tea while reading Sidereus Numcius for a class. My observations about the middle steeps is that they were sweet with that interesting hint of spice that I mentioned before. The difference between the second steep and these is that they do not actually get sweeter as they cool off, and the other flavors start to come out. This actually makes me think of the Yiwu stone-pressed sheng, but the flavors aren’t as trong, and seem a bit more…refined (for lack of a better term). Very interesting, even though development seemed to slow down.
Music of the day – Isle of the Dead by Rachmaninoff, conducted by Evgeny Svetlanov
I like this piece, especially how it builds to the finale, and then trails off to the end.