Old Ways Tea is located in my neck of the woods and I’m happy to buy from them. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried from them thus far (except huangguanyin yancha, but I just don’t like them in general) and this tea is no exception.
I was stepping into unknown territory with this tea, so I decided to do a small tasting and I’m glad I did. This tea would just not give up. Gone gaiwan: 2.5g, 60 mL, 200F, 10s rinse followed by 16 steeps. 16! from 2.5g! Holy jeebie. 10/15/ 20/25/30/35/40/45/50s and 1m/1m10/1m30/2/3/5/8m.
Dry leaf had a strong grassy and floral scent that I can’t place but I know it is something I’ve experienced before. It’s still driving me crazy after the session. I hope somebody else tries this tea and can help elucidate what the scent might be. I really want to know because the grassy floral was the prominent aroma and aftertaste of this tea.
There wasn’t much evolution in flavor over the course of the session but what it did offer was a fantastic balance of aroma, texture, aftertaste and feelings of relaxation. I imagine using all 5 grams could get one pretty tea drunk. The grassy floral on the nose came through in the taste and seemed to be stacked on a layer of light minerals, something nutty, and a dark melon or pumpkin, mabye even a long-cooked sweet potato, oozing its gooey goodness. These all hit the tongue with a thinness on the sip that transitioned into a thick brew with some astringency at the back of the mouth. My swallow was loud and very satisfying. Like Old Ways Tea stated in its description, I could feel the tea in my throat, warm and full. That later turned into a full-mouthed astringency but the mineral effect kept it from getting out of hand. Toward the end, my tongue felt full and thick, a little tingly and sandpapery. The thick and coating floral aftertaste stuck around long after the swallow and made each successive steep that much more enjoyable.
I can’t see myself reaching for this tea on a regular basis due to the strong floral aspect and its longevity but it’s definitely a treat for the senses and seems to be masterfully processed. I definitely recommend giving this one a try for experienced tasters and fans of texture.