The dry Cha gao (茶膏/tea paste) has a faint dark chocolate aroma. After a flash rinse I get a similar smoky, almost coffee like aroma as the Bronze grade.
1/5s: Very rich, pronounced coffee taste to me. A bit more of the crip finish I’d expect with a sheng puer. Nice mellow sweetness throughout.
2/18s: A tad bit lighter. More Yiwu flavor with a hint of chocolate or cacao in the background.
3/35s: More astringency in the aftertaste. Not bad, just a more crisp finish. Note of coffee are the most noticeable in this steep.
4/45s: What I’m noticing with this silver grade is that is much more consistent in that blend of Yiwu sheng and coffee/cacao taste. SUPER cha qi brewing this way! going to try a heavy steep next.
5/240s: This was a bit absurd in terms of steep length, but I wanted to see if I could bring out any bitterness. There really isn’t much to speak of. The coffee note so often mentioned above is now more clearly a bit of smokiness. Higher astringency, but again this is only noted as a much more dry, crisp mouth feel once the tea is swallowed. Much more cacao/dark chocolate in the aftertaste as well. The light, honey-like sweetness persists throughout the tasting experience.
6/??s: Steeped until the last of the paste dissolved. Not sure what is is but the last steep of the Cha gao always has massive huigan that wasn’t as apparent in the previous steepings. More chocolate in the aftertaste too.
This was fun, but didn’t have the novelty of the previous session. The higher grade dissolves bit more easily and is much more consistent in taste. Got a super caffine buzz after steep 5, LOL, but that’s expected! I’ll probably recommend this to my peeps in San Francisco given how easy it is get a good cup of tea out of this Cha gao. _
Flavors: Cacao, Coffee, Smoke, Sweet