From the Pubertea group buy organized by Liquid Proust. Wow…this tea was incredible – perhaps nearing my favorite that I’ve yet tried. I spent probably close to five minutes smelling the leaf between dry and rinsed. Lots of nice sweet and earthy aroma; dark vanilla, sweet, cinnamon, nutmeg. There is a slight aroma of storage. More than anything else, the scent reminded me of a slightly dank bourbon.
The tea started off quite sweet, with some woody notes, a bit of that bourbon/oaky vanilla flavor, and some deep and thick texture. The sweetness lingered my mouth for a good while as well. The tea was thick and mouth-coating from the get-go. As I started to steep it out more, the flavor got deeper and earthier. The color of the tea liquor was very dark for a sheng as well.
As the session progressed, I found some more spicy woody notes taking the fore, as the intense vanilla sweetness moved more into the background – sort of reminded me most of cedarwood. There is also a slight bitter backbone still remaining in this tea. The tea has a throat-tightening feel and I started to feel some relaxing qi in my upper body.
I agree with LP that this tea had very impressive longevity – I didn’t get 30 steeps off of it, but did get quite a few more than normal. Vanilla still lingers a little bit in the finish in the late steeps. I threw the leaf in a thermos with hot water for a few hours afterwards and it gave me a nice and thick infusion. I probably could have done the same thing overnight for even more tea.
I’m going to use the second half of my sample in my Jianshui teapot and see how it does. This is the first tea of this price range that I actually could see myself picking up a cake of to have as a special occasion sort of drink. I’d have to check what the price actually is of course, but maybe a self-Christmas present….
Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Earth, Nutmeg, Oak wood, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla, Wood