First of all…. getting any of the tea from this past the bamboo leaf wrap in this small case, especially with the intention of putting it all back together since my brother told me this is a young tea, so I want to store it for aging…. DIFFICULT. I made a huge mess just getting at the tea enough to scrape some away.
In any case! The dry leaf had a surprisingly sweet smell to me. It had a minor undertone of caramel that I was not expecting. Don’t be fooled, though… the tea itself does not have this kind of flavor.
The liquor was not quite an amber, not quite a green color, but with a hint of both. It smelled faintly sweet, but not in a way I could pinpoint. After taking my first sip, it was like I was punched in the mouth with the ocean. That first infusion was seriously briny. It reminded me of the time when I was with my brother in China and I ate a sea horse. He asked me what it tasted like and all I could think to say was, “The ocean!” Well, that’s how I felt with this tea. The ocean.
After making my way through the first infusion, I made it to the second. The liquor was a more clear amber color now and it was much mellower. Still vaguely oceany, but not the way that first infusion was.
With the third infusion, I smelled the liquor and it had this nice sweetness to it. With my first sip, I immediately said (out loud to all of the no one with me), “Ah yes… now I’m starting to like this.” By no means has it lost the ocean aspect, but it’s reined the flavor in so it’s just a vegetal, sort of sea weedy flavor, but it’s balanced by a nice, malty note that mellows the whole thing out.
I am definitely looking forward to when this tea has aged more so I can give it another whirl. I’m thinking… once a year? :D