Final tea from a 3-cultivar sampler from 2018? Again, this is not a 2019 tea like the Tie Luo Han I logged from this sampler.
Lots of aromatics contained within the leaf. Dry, I could smell a distinct charcoal note, dry woodiness, sweetness like brown sugar, peanut shells, hints of osmanthus and floral blueberry. The warmed and rinsed leaf smelled very strongly of red cherry, red wine, dried fruits in general, berry syrup verging medicinal. The fruity character was sharp, not as full and round as what I’ve tasted in Bei Dou cultivar. Oh, and there was gardenia, which I don’t recall experiencing in any other yancha (though maybe Bai Ji Guan?).
This tea had a prominent tangy-mineral-astringent taste and a very dry and warm character that reminded of the few Rou Gui I’ve had. All the aromas of the leaf fleeted through the main tea taste, along with tobacco, blackberry and butter lettuce, which made for a complex, engaging experience. Dry aftertaste of vanilla custard and some residual flat bitterness in the back of the mouth. I did drink the rinse which tasted of cocoa and red wine.
The overall feeling of this tea was quite robust, energetic, active and dry-warming, qualities which would make a good mid-winter’s evening elixir.
Ban Tian Yao was a cultivar I had not tried before. After this session, I can see myself purchasing it again.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Blackberry, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Charcoal, Cherry, Cocoa, Custard, Dried Fruit, Drying, Gardenias, Lettuce, Medicinal, Mineral, Osmanthus, Peanut, Red Wine, Roasted, Tangy, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wood