The aroma of the dry leaves is very light with vegetal sweet notes. After the rinse the leaves have a smoky, vegetal, a bit sweet and a touch of camphor.
1/5s: Thick, oily mouthfeel. Nice astringency with the tiniest touch of bitterness that punctuates the finish. Taste is honey and a little vegetal, but mostly honey. Some nice huiguan. Ohhhh man, after the earlier cha gao session, the cha qi just punched me in the face, LOL!
2/7s: Have to go easy on this one as pushing the steep too fast will bring out more of the bitter note. Not overbearing here, but it is peaking out here. Amazing huigan despite the increased bitterness. Lots of body; thick. I know this is the second session of the day, but this has to have some pretty strong qi!
3/7s: Very interesting bitter note. It’s not subtle, but the sweetness around it makes it… pleasant. Ha! There’s bitterness at the sides of the tongue but sweetness everywhere else. The bitter note fades quick and you’re left with that honey like sweetness. I have to try this one again when I haven’t had a prior session. Also… I REALLY should have gone with my 90mL teapot. This cha qi is threatening to kick my ass! Very dry/astringent ending on this one akin to a full bodied, dry red wine.<Had to take a break here. Buzzing like a mofo. My friend called me at 1:15am and the first thing they said was, “Why do you sound so awake?!” LOL! We’ll see if this was a matter of just how strong this tea is or if it was more a matter of compounding tea sessions.>
4/10s: Bitter is a bit subdued as the leaves get a little wake up. Honey note and sweetness continues.
5/7s: Dropped back down to 7s and good thing. Bitterness picked up a touch, but the sweetness and huigan are YUUUGE . Very thick mouth feel. First time having a tea that made me understand people’s description of a tea having an “oily” mouth feel. That said, the finish is still sharp, crisp and sweet. Something else going on too, but can’t quite place it. Maybe a camphor note coming through.
6/8s: Loving this huigan and the way bitter and sweet mingle on the tongue and give way to pure honey (perhaps a tiny vegetal note this time) in the aftertaste. Great mouthfeel. Oooooh, starting to feel that heady cha qi again. The caffeine content on this one has to be pretty high. The crazy thing yesterday was that I was SUPER awake and alert, but not at all jittery. Love that about these types of teas. :)
7/8s: Nice! The bitter note decided to take a break or perhaps blended into the astringency a bit more. Sweet, honey, with tiny vegetal and minty note. Note how short I’m having to keep the steeps to keep the bitterness down. I’m guessing this tea will go to 20 steeps easily. Bit of creaminess to that thick mouthfeel too. Love this steeping!
<The last 4 steeps have been downed a 20 minute time span and my head is floating a bit with this energizing sort of qi. ^_^>
<As another side note, my tea kettle, (Zoji) which I love dearly, is out of water so I have to refill and wait for water to heat to the proper temp. I’m always momentarily upset when it runs out as if it emptied itself of water out of spite. Then I remember that I’m the one that emptied it turning all that water into delicious tea, LOL!>
8/8s: Same as previous.
9&10/10s: Combined in the pitcher. Being lazy because it’s late. Man that’s good tea! Same quality
11-19/15-20s: Dang it, life got busy, but I kept drinking tea.
Unfortunately that means my notes aren’t what they usually are as sometimes I had to drink on the go or away from my computer. I’m continuing filling my tea pitcher (cha hai?) which is about 3 steeps/teapots with my zhuni pot.
If you cannot stand ANY bitterness this tea might not be for you, but if you don’t mind a little bit, this tea is awesome in its complexity. Just be careful not to push the early steeps too hard. In other words steep by taste not by time ie add 5 seconds with each additional steep. Listen to the leaves and you’ll be rewarded with amazing tea.
This is another tea that I would love to have a full cake of, but I realized that the slightly insane amount of money I’d spent over the last few months or so was only with a single tea supplier. Given that I’ve been buying tea from at least 4 or 5 other suppliers… I really, really don’t want to know how much I’ve spent on tea this year, LOL!
Flavors: Bitter, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Sweet