I got three really enjoyable sessions out of this sample – another hit from Farmerleaf for me. The dry leaf has a very sweet aroma – reminiscent almost of icing or marshmallow. After a rinse, it remains sweet, but more like dry pipe tobacco.
The tea starts off pretty crisp, with rather bright and grassy notes, accompanied by some sweet straw undertones and a quickly thick texture. The taste is quite clean and the tea feels good in my mouth and down my throat. Easy drinking from the beginning.
The grassy flavor doesn’t last beyond steep number four, though it is replaced by just a whisper of a fruity flavor. It’s hardly there, more as another dimension of the tea’s sweetness. Around the fourth steep, I started to feel a bit of qi from this one. Within the next couple of steeps after that, a bit of drying astringency started to creep into the tea – still quite a small amount for a young tea though. This astringency was completely muted when I brewed it in my Jianshui pot for the third session.
Steeps 7-10 were very enjoyable, with a slightly fruity/floral sweetness – it was hard to distinguish precisely. Here the tea’s long-lasting and powerful huigan shone the brightest. I also found myself feeling steadily energized by the tea.
Steeps 11-15 were a little bit different as well. Some of the sweetness dropped off to a degree, allowing the tea to take on a bit more of a savory character. It was nutty, with a bit of vanilla in the finish. The tea was certainly still sweet, most notably in the lingering aftertaste. The tea lasted through another couple steeps, which came out lighter, but still pleasantly sweet. In my Jianshui pot, it only went around 13 steeps, likely because that thing has such a slow pour that just using the pot ends up pushing the tea a good deal harder.
This is definitely the highest quality tea I’ve tasted yet from Farmerleaf. I don’t know if it technically counts as Jingmai tea, as it says Nanzuo is a hamlet “bordering Mt. Jingmai” on their site. This has a decently different character than their Jingmai teas I’ve tried so far, but I’ll be interested to compare it with their other higher-end offerings. Very easy to drink, clean, almost zero astringency, pretty solid texture and energy. There’s a lot to like about this tea.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Grass, Nutty, Straw, Sweet, Vanilla