Apparently made from the same wild varietal as the Ya Bao tea buds that I’ve enjoyed so much, but compressed and aged. Greg describes a ‘lemony’ flavor and there certainly is a lemony aroma to the dried compressed leaf material, which looks rather coarse and quite clearly includes the fuzzy pale buds along with darker leaves.
Used 3.6 grams of tea in a 2.5 oz/75mL gaiwan (the proportions Greg recommends on the Norbu site) with water just off the boil. Flash rinsed, waited 2 minutes, another flash rinse (wanted to see the leaves open up for the rinsing, but it is still quite compressed, so I’m giving up), and then short steeps—first 15 seconds, up to a minute by the 4th or 5th.
It’s mellow, sweet, floral, and yes, lemony. Quite interesting. It reminds me a lot of the silver needle tea I was drinking earlier today, and like the silver needle, it is delicious with chocolate. It really does not in any way resemble puerh, despite being aged and compressed, except that it does shine here in these short steeps.
The liquor is a rich amber, and the leaves at the end vary from green to tan.
All in all quite interesting and tasty.