Pulled a small sample of this out of the Puerh TTB when it was here. This tea is awesome. I can see how some people would not be a fan, but I certainly enjoyed it. The dry leaf had a bit of a sour raisin smell with a bit of a floral lean to the aroma. After a rinse, I smelled just a lick of smoke along with spiced fruit bread.
This tea is BITTER, but hot damn is is a good bitter. Probably one of the most bitter teas I’ve tasted – it was a strong and “clean” bitterness – I didn’t find it astringent or unpleasant. A little surprising at first, sure, but fantastic once I was expecting it. I’d describe it as an herbal or mineral, or perhaps medicinal bitterness. Maybe reminiscent of quinine really. Of course the bitterness wasn’t all this tea had going for it either. After that sharp tang of the bitterness left the mouth, the tea had a rather sweet fruity finish, eventually tasting a bit like peach, but more the rind than the fruit. If I increased the steep times too quickly, it got a bit of an off flavor, but doing flash steeps for most of the session lets this tea go a good 15 steeps or so, which is pretty awesome. The bitter note that I really liked was basically omnipresent in this tea – only started to fade as the tea itself was on its last legs.
This is a great tea for those who like bitter flavors – if you don’t like bitterness, this one would probably be awful to you.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Peach