Here’s my first foray into the abyss of a tea gift box Kawaii433 sent. Thank you!
I brewed 5g in a 100mL gaiwan with 205F water for 10 steeps at 10/15/20/25/30/40/50/60/75/90s.
The dry leaf was loose in the bag and very dark with a burgundy tinge. It smelled warm with a note of campfire smoke. Rinsing brought out a spicy note along with cherry wood, osmanthus and butter. The first steep started off smokey, a little bitter on the sip. Fruity flavors of apricot and berries presented in the back of the mouth along with osmanthus and a stronger bitterness. The first few steeps had an astringency in the throat. The liquor left aftertastes of apricot and a light concord grape. As the steeps progressed, the tea became more bitter, the kind of bitterness that might make one cringe. The dominant taste/aftertaste was a generic citric or malic acid tartness which was strongest in the back of the mouth along with a hint of smoke and some wood. The bitterness maintained until the end, at which point some butter came forward.
Overall, the tea early on had those fruity flavors I’ve gotten in purple-leaf teas before but those tastes faded pretty quickly. Most of the activity happened on the swallow, not a whole lot going on upfront. The tea lacked depth, body and any sweetness and the bitterness I could see turning off a lot of people. It’s also full of energy — I had a really difficult time falling asleep despite drinking this tea in the afternoon. Tread lightly with this one.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Butter, Campfire, Cherry Wood, Grapes, Osmanthus, Spicy, Tart