This tea has a really great taste to it, full of thick, vegetal, kelpy goodness. The first steep is always exploding with robust green flavors and smooth, sweet aromas whether it’s steeped Western or gong fu style. However, if you’re looking for a tea with resonance, and great flavor throughout steeps, it’s certainly not this one. With four grams of leaf in a small gaiwan, and the first two steeps 3 seconds and 6 seconds respectively, the next steeps always seem to be uncannily weak, even when the time is increased significantly. A great deal of the interesting flavors and aromas giving this tea such a great profile at first simply disappear and leave you wondering whether you imagined the flavors previously, leaving the taste simple, watery, and boring. However, if you brew this gyokuro Western style with a shorter first steep, you can get a respectable and tasty second infusion.
The liquor’s flavor is sweet, very kelpy, buttery, and quite vegetal, giving off aromas of steamed veggies and freshly mowed grass. The mouthfeel of this tea is extremely smooth, and oh so thick—almost milk-like. It somewhat reminds me of a Jin Xuan oolong, only with a much deeper “green” flavor and far more astringency. I sometimes catch a subtle whisp of smoky flavors that seem to drift in during the second steep that adds character and further complexity. Yet, while full and rich, the flavor is fleeting. It only lasts for the remainder of the sip before fading quickly and leaving barely a hint of an aftertaste. While incredibly subtle, the aftertaste is almost exactly like the aroma of the dry leaf, which is awesome and intoxicating: herbaceous, very sweet, kelpy, and powerfully “green.”
Finally, I absolutely love the leaves of this tea. They truly are a beautiful shade of deep, vibrant green.