FINALLY getting into my samples from CLT’s 2016 lineup. I feel like I ordered them months ago, but I’ve been out of state, so only got to unbox them about a week ago. I’ve been meaning to try some of their stuff basically since I got into puerh. I’m glad to report that this first one does not disappoint! The leaf from this one was pretty nice looking, and had a sort of floral hay aroma – I think I smelled a bit of smoke on it after a rinse, but that didn’t persist into the flavor of the tea.
Many teafriends I’ve spoken to online have issues with Lincang teas, but I have only had good experiences with them thus far. They tend to have a really nice sweetness and, again in my experience, not a whole lot of unpleasant bitterness or astringency.
The first two steeps here were floral, with just a touch of bitterness in the first steep. Soft and sweet with a literally mouthwatering huigan I tasted mostly in the corners of my mouth. That aftertaste was definitely the highlight at least of the early part of this session.
In the next three steeps, the floral notes dropped off a bit, displaced by a bit of a vegetal taste – the tea was still sweet and thickening up some. I noted just a minor astringency in a couple of these steeps. The aftertaste remained strong, having received most of the tea’s floral bouquet along with a sugarcane sweetness to round out the sip.
I got another 11 or so steeps out of this tea – that’s another thing I’ve noticed with Lincang teas, they seem to just go forever – all of which had mostly the same character. They were slightly bitter on the front of the sip, though this faded as I got towards the end of the session, with a vegetal or maybe herbal flavor, followed by a sweet finish – between floral and sugarcane. It maintained a moderate thickness. This tea never got super oily or creamy thick, but I could appreciate the body. If I had chosen to, I probably could have gotten a few more steeps off of it as well.
I found this better in the 100mL Jianshui teapot I also just got from CLT than in my gaiwan. I’m glad that I enjoy what it does with sheng so far, because it’s so pretty that even if it didn’t make as good of tea, I’d still find it hard to stop using it! After trying Hidden Song, I’m excited for the rest of CLT’s 2016 lineup, all of which I have samples of cakes of. Their sample packaging is also pretty neat – at first I thought it seemed a little insecure, but opening/closing the packaging a few times without spillage has assuaged my doubts.
When this tea was first released, CLT had a contest of sorts, in which anybody who could guess the song that was printed on the wrapper would receive a tong of this tea as a reward. During a google hangout with some teafriends, we spent probably a couple hours trying to guess what the song was using only the notes which were visible from the front of the wrapper, as none of us had a complete cake. Needless to say, we failed, but while drinking this tea, I found myself chuckling at the memory a couple times :)
I don’t know if I was supposed to keep that a secret or not – oh well.
Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vegetal