I think Andrew might have given this to me years ago during his oolong mentorship with me.
I’ve got mixed feelings about Aged Teas, and I only get them from Andrew or if it’s from a vendor I trust. I am a basic tea drinker in that I look for teas with decent energy and a tasting profile that lets my brain imagine flavors akin to dessert so I don’t have to eat or drink said dessert. Sugar is bad for a type one diabetic. Tea is good for health, therefore good for a diabetic. Aged tea…is mummified tea. I need some flavor when I resurrect it from the dead, and this one does have flavor.
The description is fun with this one since I remember his quest for finding the smoothest aged tea possible. Unlike a lot of other Aged Teas, it doesn’t have the paint stain funk most do and has qualities very similar to an actual rock tea. Andrew pegged the profile is being like Rolo Candy, and I can see it. The dry leaf reminds me distinctly of coffee and caramel without bitterness or harshness. Drinking it up, caramel, roast, woodiness, and a little bit of nuttiness are prominent. Some notes that remind me of a lighter roast coffee, but incredibly smooth. The second steep gets out a little bit more dark chocolate/cocoa, though not as strong as the caramel and coffee notes.
Later notes have some florals, but in the way that coffee is “floral” with some light acidity. It’s age and char are more prominent in the later rebrews, getting woodsier into dark oak, some cedar. Here comes the woodstain resin and paint notes. The later brews are also a lot more drying with some bitterness.
Getting to the point, Andrew found a tea that’s aged particularly well and one that I can enjoy in my basicness. I’d recommend this to Wuyi fans and Tea nerds looking for some aged tea that is feasible in a heartbeat, but I can still see some people being detracted by the woodiness. Again, aged teas are bit of a niche thing that mega tea nerds invest a lot in, but I do think this one is a lot more approachable for intermediate drinkers than most.
Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Cedar, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Wood, Drying, Dust, Forest Floor, Oak, Resin, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth