43 Tasting Notes
The WMD was one of my favorite teas of 2017 and this years is up there as well…but I’m a big fan of Mansa teas as they seem to combine the floral notes of Yiwu area teas with the backbone of a Menghai. This tea is no exception. This years WMD is very similar to how last years tasted this young except last years was fruitier early on while this years has a more vegetal pea soup character akin to a Japanese sencha or gyokuro. This seems like a common theme this year. Teas that had lots of apricot notes the past few years seem vegetal and minerally this year. Don’t know if it’s different climatic conditions or what. This tea steeps forever and bitter vegetal oily sage and camphor notes fade to sweet orchid and lemongrass. Potent, meditative energy emerges from this tea starting with a tingle in the forehead then spreading through whole body. I see why some monks believe that to drink the good stuff and not meditate afterward is a waste. This is a small vendor that sources a modest but diverse assortment of teas. All are worth sampling but this one is the flagship.
Nice floral and fruit notes with a subtle backdrop of camphor and mild bitterness. Nice balance and quite refreshing. There is a honey like sweetness that grows in later steeps. Not super thick and oily but not thin either. The qi present and uplifting but not brain zapping either. A fine tea to sip while lazing around the garden on a summer afternoon. I examined the leaves after steeping this out and the stems were nice and thick . Pretty bud heavy too. Very nice material for the price and well processed as well. I’d recommend this tea for sheng beginners who are transitioning over from green and white teas.
Got a sample of this in the fall and was like meh…and let the rest sit in a closet til yesterday. Brewed a pot and was pleasantly surprised at how good it became…especially for a tea this cheap. Nice floral and honey notes. Nothing mind blowing but very pleasant flavors and mellow qi. It’s not a brain zap, exploding flavor gushu but at 5% of the cost, who’s complaining?
I bought a sample when it was released, embarrassingly because of the hyperbole with which it was described…something about punishing bitterness and body feels that continue to intensify with each steep. When I first sampled it I was like ok it’s bitter but that’s about it…not even as bitter as a purple tea…I let it sit a few months and drank the last 12g the other day before work. The tea was still bitter but had a nice herbal background and a bit of a mineral profile with perhaps a touch of aniseed. I’m reminded of an old school New England ipa minus the malt. The strong point of this tea however was the qi. I had what would have normally been an exasperating day at work and this tea gave me a calm energy that allowed me navigate the BS with a grin. I prefer a tea with more floral fruity tobacco notes but if if you are a fan of Lao Man E and the like, this is a solid tea at a reasonable price.
I seriously hope Paul releases this blend again in 2018. I’ve had more expensive W2T blends and must say after spending a year and a half with a cake it’s probably my favorite W2T offering. Of course I haven’t tried any of the Treachery cakes as I won’t blind buy a cake of this price without first being able to try a sample…So I’ve lived with this cake a year and a half and have enjoyed its evolution. I drink it once or twice a month and it tastes a little different every time but always smooth, oily and well balanced. Today I’m getting aniseed flavors throughout the session. The qi is always intense and lingering. I was sad that there was no Bosch in 17 and hope there is in 18.
My first aged white and surely not my last. I now see why the Chinese shudder when they hear of westerners tossing white tea after a year and why they say 1 year tea, 3 years medicine and 7 years treasure. 8g gong fu starting 85 then ramping to 95. The flavor of this stuff reminds me of a combination of Red Man chewing tobacco and the date and nut cake my great aunt used to make at holidays. This is actually a good thing. This stuff refuses to stop steeping and keeps giving. The qi is unique. It’s not relaxing like an aged sheng but both speedy and spacy. Perhaps this should be reserved for a weekend party tea…
I bought a cake of this primarily for aging as younger versions of this tea are among my very favorite in the under $.50 a gram category and at 7 years old is rapidly approaching adolescence. As expected, the fruity, spicy notes of youth have faded and the woody, mushroomy decaying foliage flavors are just beginning to emerge, primarily in later steeps. The body is super oily and there is big time cooling effect typical of old arbor teas of this area. The qi is pretty intense but not as aggressively stimulating as younger pressings. This tea is on its way to greatness and I bought a cake to age a few years. I would recommend doing the same.
Forgot I had this sample sitting around. Bought a bunch of Liu Bao samples a while back and got to figuring that they all tasted like someone boiled some rotten twigs and leaves and made you lick it off a moldy basement floor…not my bag. So when I found this unopened sample I was curious I was intrigued but leery…Turns out that this tea actually reminds me of a good shou. It does have the decayed wood taste but also notes of marzipan and strangely Dr Pepper. Not sure I’d drink this daily but it is nice.
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