2005 Fuhai Golden Strand Early Spring Shu
Dry Leaf: Tiny little bright orange buds and dark black later picking buds. The leaf material is remarkable on this tea. Often, pu’er while be scattered with large late spring buds, but this brick is made entirely out of first and second picking Mid-march bud material. Because they were so young when picked, the buds are as fine as threads. Pu’er like this is rare, and ages very differently than other bricks. Buds tend to develop towards sweet, thick heady spice and citrus, and not towards the musty vapor that a leaf-based brick would achieve.
Aroma: Very well-integrated. Rich, sweet and dark without being musty. Some tanginess.
Tea Color: These little buds infuse a dark and thick brew without being murky or heavy.
Taste through early steepings: Completely left field here: Intense, juicy, mouth-watering spearmint dominates the early steepings and lingers with the sweetness of fresh mint as an aftertaste. This subsides over about ten steepings towards a more biscuity spiced flavor.
Taste in middle to late steepings: The biscuity flavor grows into graham cracker, and then edges towards a tangy ginseng and kaffir lime flavor, finishing with a thick and round creamy quality.
Steeped Leaf: Dark black, tiny, perfectly intact thread-like buds.
Notes: The unique nature of the bud material used makes it worth picking up as much of this tea as you can. The oddity of the spearmint flavor and the growing sweet spice make this an exciting prospect for aging.