4 Tasting Notes
I’ve got a cold right now, so may have to revisit this when trying again, but I thought this was very nice – I was pleasantly surprised. It’s so often that you find a vendor who makes exaggerated claims about a tea, and then the tea is not so good, but this one reminded of me (in a good way) of some other teas I’ve had and really enjoyed.
The aroma under the gaiwan lid was great, but the empty cup wasn’t quite as fragrant as I would have expected. But the tea was fairly durable, and the taste sweet and spicy, with just a bit of astringency and roughness on the front of the tongue. Looking forward to brewing this a couple of different ways, and definitely need to try the 2012 version, as well as get some more of the 2011.
The tea is described as traditional. I would consider the roast medium / balanced / sufficient (not over, not under), and I’d describe the oxidation as medium, but the roast is well done, and it’s been well roasted, so there’s no sharpness or unpleasant notes. Aftertaste is lasting, even with my nose partially out of commission, and has an interesting, complex flavor, and maybe some of the elusive ‘yan yun’.
Not sure whether this is qidan or some other varietal, and can’t vouch for whether it’s really from 100+ year old bushes, but I would believe that it’s old bush, at any rate. Regardless of what it is, my first impression is that this is quite a bit better than a lot of other yancha in its price range.
[note – this is based on the 2011 light roast imperial rou gui]
I have had mixed results with 7 Cups’s teas, and wasn’t hugely impressed with some of their yancha that I’ve tried. However, I think this one is really nice. The roast is balanced (not too high, not too low), clarity of the brewed tea is good, the tea has sufficient oxidation, and the characteristic rou gui flavor is there. The aroma in the empty cup smells just right. If you push it to the point where it’s a bit astringent, more of the aftertaste will come out. I think it’s a fairly good value.
Tried a sample of this from a tea acquaintance. I was not a huge fan – it’s rich, but I think a little over-fired (and I’m someone who likes some pretty high-fired tea). I am a little skeptical on the date as well, though it’s hard to tell because the roast is so strong.