Just got around to spending a couple of steeps with this tea. Ripe wasn’t cutting it so I decided to whip this one out. Brews up thick and smooth. It is quite smokey but I don’t mind it.. purple tea often is.. not sure if it’s the way it’s processed or innate to the tea or both. None-the-less, it brews up a deep amber color, lots of viscosity and very smooth. Don’t find it astringent at all with short steeps. I do remember having tried it about 2 months ago and found it bitter. This time, not at all. Can’t imagine 2 months made the difference, it is probably that the first time I drank it, there were a lot of broken leaves and tea dust that had fallen off the edge of the cake. This time, I picked some carefully off the back.
7/30/16: revisiting this tea after quite some time and the wait has done it considerable good. This time in a gaiwan with about 4 oz of water. Only a faint hint of smoke, slightly bitter but becoming much more rounded and the flavors more integrated. This is not a tea one might describe as “sweet.” I have high hopes for it’s evolution. Remarkably crystal clear soup and a very interesting lingering mouthfeel. It definitely woke me up!