What a fascinating tea! Thanks to both Geoffrey and David for the insightful information about this tea’s extraordinary and rare history. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s saga of complexity with their tasting notes. Here’s what I experienced, cup by cup:
8 steeps, 8-40 seconds.
The first thing that hit me when I opened the bag was a smell that reminded me of the tea at the Chinese restaurant my parents always brought me to when I was a kid. I take this to be a very good sign. Now on to the taste.
1. Grassy white tea with floral notes.
2. A bitter smokiness emerges.
3. Dark & smoky, but a nutty vegetal flavor emerges, like green beans.
4. A citrus smell is now standing out, with a flavor like zubrowka – vanilla, buffalo grass.
5. A faint lilac begins to pop out.
6. More vanilla, macadamia.
7. Caramel & rock candy.
8. The aroma of fennel and just a hint of sarsaparilla.
The scent of the leaves after steeping: Grapefruit, fennel, earth.
What an elaborate network of flavors! Great by itself or as an accompaniment to a spicy meal. Both captivating and calming all at once.