Decided to start this session at about 1am last night – randomly grabbed the sample without really knowing what I was getting myself into. This is a pretty hardcore tea. I used my whole 8.7g sample I received many months ago from LiquidProust in a 120mL gaiwan with boiled water. The dry leaf smelled lightly grassy and fruity, while the rinsed leaf had a pretty intense tobacco aroma.
The first steep was rather light, as I had a pretty solid chunk in the gaiwan, but it carried very sweet apricot and sugary notes, like I was drinking a fruity hard candy. I was hit immediately with some heavy qi in my chest. It left my tongue tingling and a very sweet flavor in my mouth.
The next steep was similar, though a bit thicker with an almost juicy kind of character. I also started to notice a slight cooling sensation in my mouth with this steep – no menthol or camphor taste, just the cooling feeling.
In the next steep, my big chunk really opened up, and I finally got a bit of the smoky tobacco flavor I smelled on the leaf. It wasn’t overwhelming however, and the tea still had that sugary sweet apricot sweetness with mouth tingly goodness. At this point, I was feeling pretty energized and started to get all sweaty. The fourth steep started to get a slight bitterness in the front of the sip, which was quickly washed away by the intensely sweet huigan. I was feeling some tightness in my chest, and my head started to swim a little bit at this point.
For the next three steeps, the bitterness really reared its head – and it was just bitterness, not astringency. It was a bitter flavor that I’d describe as herbal or medicinal, and for these steeps the sweetness was not quite as intense, though it was still present. At this point I had to call it a night and get to bed, as this bitterness did not sit well with my stomach so late at night. I think I would have been able to soldier on if I had been drinking this tea at a more sane hour and hadn’t eaten a ton of crap at a halloween party earlier in the day, but the energy this tea had and the bitterness just mixed up in my belly and made it sad.
I picked the session back up this morning, and it had that familiar bitterness, by this point a bit subdued – it also retained that intense, candy apricot huigan. A couple steeps later, the bitterness started to recede and the tea started to taste almost buttery with an apricot finish. This continued for three steeps.
The last five or so steeps were much softer and thinner in texture. There was no bitterness remaining, just some soft and sweet flavor with a bit of mouth drying.
This tea is STRONG in almost every way a tea can be. The body was good but not particularly amazing, but other than that – strong flavor, strong bitterness, crazy strong qi. It was an intense tea – I wouldn’t recommend trying to drink it at night like I did. I’m glad I got to try this tea. I wish I could have had it all in one session, as I feel like I missed out on a little bit of the teadrunk face-melting qi I could have experienced in an uninterrupted session, but this was an awesome tea regardless.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Candy, Medicinal, Sweet, Tobacco