According to Mandala, this is organically grown in pure soil and fresh air and picked/processed in April of 2012.
This Gong Ting (Imperial Court) had a very dark dense liquor color, similar to strong coffee. The small (young) dark wet leaves smelled of strong leather and earth, rich forest soil. The flavor of the liquor had leather notes, but rather gentle, mild… Surprisingly not overwhelming considering the strong aroma. It also had the classic earthy notes. No fishy or dirt notes. In later steeps, I got some fruit notes of prunes or figs which gave it a slight sweetness but throughout the entire process, it mainly consisted of leather, earth, topsoil notes. I’m pretty sure my inexperienced ability is at fault here as far as being able to detect other notes but I still enjoyed all steeps regardless hehe. It’s full-bodied, rich, smooth, and a delicate soft mouth-feel, creamy, with a rich aftertaste of fresh damp earth.
212˚F, 110ml, 14 steeps:rinse, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s, 65s, 75s (3:17 am… I think it outlasted me. Stopping now lol)
Flavors: Dates, Earth, Leather, Sweet