Hiya! Puerh Noob reporting in.. but in this case it should be Hei Cha Noob :P This is the first tea I chose to try from LP’s Dark Matter Group buy. It’s also my first Hei Cha! Whee! Excited and a little scared with not knowing what to expect other than it’s different from puerh.
7 or 8 steeps in and I know I’m going to have to revisit this tea, originally I didn’t think the flavor changed to big extent, but upon further reflection as I stare into my tea cup making mouth smacking sounds… I have to accept that this tea has just been very sneakily morphing it’s flavor profile through the steeps. I’ve noticed the change in scent more than in the flavor of the tea.. but it’s there… yes it is…
Scent wise my first cup made me think of a light roasted oolong – last cups the scent is much more marine like (meh, me no likey marine stuff).
Sooo this tea sorta confounds me (in a good way.) The first taste that i get is like the scent of fresh lumber from a hardware store, which in my book isn’t bad.. after all I’ve been drinking and liking puerh that tastes like dark damp wood and earth. What has COMPLETELY distracted me from the aforementioned subtle flavor morphing is how I’m experiencing this tea…Sounds crazy but this is a fast tea… It hits with the fresh lumber flavor and bam that gone and I’m hit with a really high pitched sweet experience, like an artificial sweetener, but then that disappears and I’m left with a pretty clean palette and my mouth is left salivating for more.. W. T. F???
10/11 steeps in – yes, I’m floating and starting to visit the bathroom alot.. gah.. I want a bigger bladder installed?? And I’m getting lazy soo other points of interest for me:
Steep 3 – added milk, was pleasantly surprised, milk goes very nicely with this, I’d do it again if I were in a milky tea mood. (I’ve tried to add milk to some shu and not been successful with that.)
The marine flavor is definitely getting stronger and deepening the wood flavor, so the flavor starts as a darker wood, super sweet bam and then a very faint nori end flavor that morphs into a lingering sweet/savory feeling in the mouth that lasts quite a while.
This tea is making me think waaaaaaay too hard, I’ve tossed the leaves that I’ve used into a mason jar since I think they still have alot of flavor to them and Life In a Teacup mentions that Tibetans like to drink the brew the next day.. not sure if they drink it cold or hot, but I like cold tea so I’m going to try it. :)
I’ve found that puerh lets me eat onions and things I’m not supposed to eat, without having to take an antacid with my meals… crossing my fingers that hei cha will do the same thing for my digestion and that I won’t wake up in the middle of the night in pain. Yes, I’m willing to live dangerously and be a guinea pig test subject. Will edit this with my results.
Would I recommend this? I think this is interesting, so yes. Would I buy it… that I’m on the fence about, only because I’m not a fan of marine-ish notes in my tea, though somehow I find this works and it’s not over the top. Based on steeps 1-7 or so? I was definitely interested, it’s the later steeps that are making me think harder about wanting more. Thankfully I can have another session with the sample I have to better evaluate how I feel. :D
Flavors: Marine, Sweet, Wet Wood