Dark. Smoky. Strong. Rough. Bare and thorough. Makes the mind wander and the mouth to tell the world to take a hike for a moment. Enjoying it already.
With the leaves a very strong scent of smoke pushes through first, almost like lapsang but without the subtle sweetness the aforementioned one usually has. This one doesn’t do hints. It presents itself as it is. A smoky blend without a fuss. It does give away a trace of tree bark. And very dark and sour rye bread. Wearing only black from head to toe suddenly seems all the more appropriate for this specimen.
As it steeps it gives a very beautiful and rich colour scale of red, black and brown with a sliver of gray. Reminds me of the Keemun I had once, not to mention Lapsang. Or Pu’erh. The wet leaves give away a somehow muffled scent, something between wet wood and slightly burnt pie crust. Of all the choices it gives those. Clever one.
Now the sweetness announces itself as I take a sniff at the cup, it lingers there as a thin, shy underlayer beneath the smoke. Something fruity, maybe ripe plum, reaches out as well. The smoke steps aside in the aroma and gives the other scents the space they need, making the tea’s character more solid instead of being very onesided and thin.
Oh, the smoke hits first, but then the sweet untertone gains more weight and suddenly accompanies the smoke rather than stays on the background only complimenting it like small sweet characters usually do out of sheer kindness and just daring to hope that someone takes notice of them. This is a bold one. That’s appreciated.
The feeling on tongue is thick and heavy, but not overly so. It takes its’ place and makes itself noticed. Lingers nicely as well, turning into full aftertaste, albeit vanishing a little too quickly for my taste. Glad I made a pot of it.
And as it gets accompanied by a plum pie made yesterday and now tasting all the sweet and sour layers in it…bliss. Just right companion for it, the bite of a plum gets more dimensions with the gentle, round smoke and the turkish yoghurt with some honey gives an extra push towards the sweetness and still keeping the feeling in mouth airy.
As the cup chills a bit the flavour turns more soft and fresh, the tongue getting a sliver of bitterness but only enough to keep things interesting. Having a wonderful dialogue with this one.
Not bad company for waiting the winter which is still yet to come. Even the seasons are shy here.