Dry leaf smells of aged tea, no dampness, age-darkened but not so much that the tips are not still golden-brown. Well-compressed but not so tightly that I couldn’t pick thin layers off of the main chunk of the sample.
10s rinse is surprisingly dark but then I’d teased the leaf apart to almost being like loose leaf. Vegetal, faintly smoky lid scent.
Since I had no big chunks in the gaiwan I kept the 1st steep at close to 5s, then followed with 9 more with 5s increments, then a half-dozen with 10s increments, then a few with 20s, so, like 5/10/15…45/50/60/70…110/120/140… for a total of 20-some steeps. Though I would not accuse anyone who stopped at 15 of wasting tea: the last half-dozen or so were pretty weak.
Soup starts out deep orange and surprisingly sweet for a few steeps, then develops some medicinal tang, bitterness and astringency with deep copper soup around steep 5. Nice full mouthfeel up through about the 10th, by which time the bitterness and astringency are fading also. Strong enough to produce a tea sweat around the 8th or so. Declines into generic sweet water with a medicinal smell by the 16th or so.
This tea has a nice flavor profile and mouthfeel, good endurance with well > 10 real steeps, no humid taste. I think I like it better than the 2004 Tai Lian I drank yesterday.
Flavors: Sweet, Wood