Wow…this is by far one of my favorites that you’ve granted me, Liquid Proust. Rocks, leaves, cedar, and Fall are what I smell in the dry leaf. There was something familiar about this one, like one of the ones you made…I shall not tell.
With the few near-five grams I had, there was a need to make it Gongfu. I brewed five ounces of water heated to 195 degrees approximate, and steeped only fifteen seconds. It was creamy feeling and roasted, with the notes presented in the previous review. Cedar was distinguishable as a flavor, crisp and fragrant, but warm, and somehow sweet with an iron bite which showed up more in the second 25 second steep. The mouthfeel was almost buttery, and very similar to a Tie Guan Yin, but closer to a jin xuan.
It was consistent in the third steep at 50 seconds, but was closer to roasted nuts. I can see why people describe this tea as having a “cinnamon” note. It doesn’t really taste like cinnamon itself, but it has a weird, spicy metallic character that is very similar.
On the Tour of Oolongs, this is by far one of my favorites. I can now say that it’s an Oolong that I definitely prefer, especially compared to a Bai Hoa and the Li Shan’s I’ve had. I like the woodiness of the Wu Yi’s I’ve had, but the problem is, well, they taste like wood which is something I don’t always want to have. The Li Shan’s are usually hit or miss: they either have a sweet, almost fruity character and buttery mouth feel with some sort of floral aspect that I LOVE, or they taste like flavorless water with a salty or buttery texture.
This tea fits all of my preferences. It’s crisp and deceives me into thinking that it’s lighter, but it is more complex and sophisticated than presented. There’s full range of flavor and it is sweet enough to be perfect on its own. This tea could really be brewed Gongfu or Western, but I personally think that it is sweeter and more nuanced Gongfu while Western would be more robust and maybe earthier. Officially one of the best teas I’ve had because of its sophistication in the guise of nutty simplicity. I’m not sure who I’d recommend this to. I really think that this one would apply to a pretty broad audience.
Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Metallic, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet