[Spring 2019 harvest]
This might just be my favourite yancha to date, says me who dislikes picking favourites. It just hits all the right spots and it’s not one of the super expensive ones either. It has a wonderfully complex and balanced profile, long-lasting expansive aftertaste and an engaging mouthfeel.
The aromas are pungent and perfumy all in all. At first, in the preheated gaiwan, I get a comforting scent of cranberries and wood. During the session, there is a strong beetroot aroma complemented by a touch of soil, truffle and cookies. On the whole, it becomes quite sweet and only a little earthy in spite of the descriptors.
Already the first steep is pungent and full bodied. It has a sweet and mineral profile, which is to be expected of course. But there is much more to it. The texture is smooth and bubbly. I find the liquor to be quite light in the mouth in terms of its weight, despite its very active presence and good thickness.
The second infusion is smooth and biting at the same time. There is a good balance of sweet and savoury flavours. Particular notes include char, rose, and dried dates. The aftertaste is numbing and with a more vegetal and floral profile. There are notes of butter, dandelion, nutmeg, sugarcane and a kind warming mint (as opposed to the more usual cooling mint sensation).
Third steep has a strong yanyun a floral, almost quinine-like bitterness, which transforms into sweetness very fast. There are flavours of bread crust, custard and wood.
The qi is somewhat subtle, but quite noticeable if I pay attention. I like how the tea brings my focus to the present. Because of its non-aggressive nature, it can be drunk in a variety of settings.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Biting, Bitter, Butter, Char, Cookie, Cranberry, Custard, Dandelion, Dates, Earth, Floral, Mineral, Mint, Nutmeg, Perfume, Rose, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Wood