Alright y’all, here’s my Birthday Tea (several days ago now). I was born in 1983 — a tea one year off fits the bill well enough. I don’t feel old, even around teenagers but put in the perspective of tea years, I should be tasteless and dry by now. But I am neither! And neither is this tea. It smells a little musty, dusty and sour so in human years, I’d put this around 85 years old :P
The dry leaf smells a little of this, a little of that — sour, musty, dusty, woody, cookie, soy sauce. Warmed, it smells rich and sweet with date syrup-coffee-caramel, aged wood and pepperoni, fire-spicy, complex. The rinsed leaf smells like stale coffee, wet earth and wet vegetation. Once brewed, the tea has a forward note of ash. Its general character is spicy, woody, and mineral with a gentle unrefined palm sugar type sweetness. There’s also kind of an underlying umami-seaweed tone. There’s an awesome black sesame oil high note that pierces through everything for 4 or 5 infusions. That note smells and tastes exactly like the homemade black sesame ice cream the sushi chef gifted me with my pandemic to-go birthday dinner.
Thanks, Leafhopper, for allowing me a sample of the oldest tea I’ve had thus far! It was an interesting sip for sure and not a bad one by any means. It’s still a supple, complex oolong with a bit of an opinionated fiery bite.
Flavors: Ash, Biting, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Coffee, Cookie, Dates, Dust, Meat, Mineral, Mint, Musty, Plants, Pleasantly Sour, Seaweed, Sesame, Smooth, Soy Sauce, Spicy, Sweet, Umami, Wet Earth, Wood