I only got 3 strong steeps out of this but what was there was so good. This isn’t going to be just anybody’s cup due to heicha being, well, fermented and the taste rather medicinal but it’s a woody, nutty and herbal medicinal as opposed to fruit.
Gone gaiwan. 6g, 100mL, 205F, 10s rinse followed by 7 steeps at 20/25/30/45s and 1/2/4m. I’ll try boiling the spent leaf and see what happens. Edit: oily, woody, nutty and tart
The dry leaf smelled of light fermentation, wood, smoke, meat and roasted bamboo. Warming and rinsing brought out additions of bay leaf, a strong savory note that reminded me of ginseng chicken soup and cigar shop. There was also that betel nut note mentioned in Yunnan Sourcing’s description. I’ve never had betel nut, only the leaf, but the taste seems like it might be similar.
The dark liquor was surprisingly thick and creamy-oily in those first several steeps. It seemed to slide over the center of my tongue and then curtain down the sides. It was also a tad numbing like Togo mentioned. Neat texture for sure. The aroma was quite savory with pleasant fermentation and betel nut? I could also taste the betel nut in the alkaline brew along with bay leaf, bamboo, some very slight fruity medicine, and tartness like red plum skin or a light dry red wine. There was a pleasant coffee-like taste/bitterness that added to the experience.
If there ever was a winter time black tea to have in the evening, this is it. I’ll probably purchase more of this since it’s so dang cheap at $6/100g. Thanks for the sample Togo, wherever you are!
Flavors: Bamboo, Bitter, Black Currant, Chicken Soup, Coffee, Creamy, Dark Wood, Herbs, Meat, Medicinal, Nutty, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Red Wine, Roasted Chicken, Smoke, Smooth, Tobacco