I submitted this tea for review by a new company, because I think his name is worth spreading. This is one of the more enjoyable rou guis I’ve had in a while.
Prep: 100cc gaiwan, full to brim with tea, boiling water. Short steeps x3, adding 15s to each steep from steeps 4-9. Then chasing flavor with 1 min + steeps.
Sessions with this tea: 2
Taste: This has a complex bittersweet characteristic with a strong but not overpowering or forceful taste of spices. The sweetness is not that of sugar, and it blends together with a gentle roast note very well. There is minerality present as well as some wood notes. The whole effect is subtle and savory. Imagine bittersweet cooking cocoa rather than sweet hot chocolate, or nutmeg used for cooking a soup rather than a pie.
Body: A thick and dry mouthfeel, almost like you have melted that cocoa powder in your mouth. This I think is interesting, as tea usually gives me thick wet feeling, like pudding or cream. This mouthfeel, combined with “dry” aspect of taste, is what made this tea so pleasing to me. Energy is radiating warmth sitting in my chest. Very “whole” feeling, like getting praise in grade school for something you worked very hard on.
Overall one of the most pleasing rou guis I’ve had in a while. I don’t prefer sweet notes usually so I welcome yanchas without much sweetness. Plus this tea hits the perfect spot in terms of roast note, low stated bittersweet, woody/herbaceous note. All combined with a beautiful mouthfeel. Old Ways is a new vendor and I will be trying to obtain more of this tea very soon.