Umami similar to the Japanese kombu seaweed or a heavy soy sauce without the saltiness. A dark brown-red liquor with a thick texture. A subtle caramel sweetness, which I appreciate much in the same way I appreciate someone holding the door open and then letting me know that my fly’s unzipped. Not particularly outstanding gestures but warmly appreciated none the less.
A pleasant fullness after drinking, that makes me ponder the usefulness of this tea to drink when I am hungry…
Wet leaf aroma is a bit of a paradox because I think it smells like dried wood. My later steepings produced a liquor with a lighter caramel color, and a “clean” mineral taste. I also noted a hint of char during the entire session. For the future, I would like to compare this ripe to other Xiaguan (shou) creations, maybe other Xiao Fa tuo’s from different years.
The value of this ripe is great. I highly recommend this ripe. Right now, I want to drink this daily but I only have one tuo so I have it about every other day.
Additional brewing parameters: 7g leaf, 100ml gaiwan, two rinses, steepings 1-5: 5-15 seconds, 5-9: 15 seconds- 1 minute.
Picked up tuo at Yunnansourcing.com. The guys over at TeaDB.org have also commented on this tea: http://teadb.org/xiao-fa-tuo/
Flavors: Caramel, Char, Umami