CLT Beneath an Emerald sea 2018
212f, 7.1g, 100mL gaiwan, trader Joe’s Pure New Zealand Artesian water
dry leaf: fruity in a dried hawthorn candy sort of way, slight floral/grassy aspect
wet leaf: slight savory, tiniest hint of smoke, fruity
5s: slight bitter, touch of vegetal, light sugar sweet on aftertaste.
7s: stronger bitterness upfront, sort of bland vegetables, and then a lightly sweet aftertaste. Something about it reminds me of something medicinal. Drying on front of tongue.
10s: stronger bitterness again. This will either encourage me to stop drinking young shengs or buy a kettle that does 5 degree increments instead of 10 or I could’ve just pour boiling water into cha hai before into gaiwan. Whatever. I had a light breakfast beforehand, but slight pain in upper right abdomen, so my stomach is still not used to too young sheng. once you get past the bitterness, a refreshing sort of crisp floral aftertaste follows. Nothing too intense, but sort of lingers in background. A sort of black pepper hint as well.
15s: I decided to put in the extra effort to pour into cha hai before gaiwan starting here so I don’t hate my stomach later. But since bitterness still there, not sure if that really helped much, if at all lol. Taste wise, has taken on a slight subtle floral note too. A touch of mint in the aftertaste. Overall, something reminds me of noodle soup w/ fresh carrots. Sort of an oddity.
21s: Bitterness w/ a bit of an orange peel-like edge. Session was entertaining enough for me, sure, but wouldn’t purchase any more after this sample is done. Bitterness here isn’t it offset by enough sweetness or other things that are more in line with my preferences for drinking now, and life has not settled down enough to the point where I could theoretically purchase cakes for aging long-term. Slight honey in taste.
26s: similar bitterness w/ a honeyed hint.
31s: like before, but lightened. Oddly enough, aftertaste here lingers noticeably longer than that of any previous steep. I ran out of the fancy Trader Joe’s New Zealand Artesian water, so back to Brita filtered tap and back to 212f.
35s: slight medicinal bitter, honeyed mint aftertaste.
45s: nondescript taste, but hint of sweetened mint in aftertaste. Sort of cooling.
2min: Bitter w/ fruity undertones. Predicted not too much more interesting from here on out, so off to the thermos.
thermos overnight: Light bitter w/ honeyed undertones. Nothing too exciting.
I know year of tea makes a difference, but this tea in particular out of CLT’s offerings came highly recommended (based on reviews of various years) but I can’t say I was blown away overall. For $/g (.235 if you buy the 200g mini-cake), it’s really not a bad value if you can handle or enjoy the bitter aspect.