Leaves are boilerplate light roasted 高山: Some dark patches, but also a lot of greenleft. Steamed aroma of the leaves is not super pleasant. They smell, mostly, of slightly burnt food. Sesame, to be exact. The post first brew scent intensifies that burnt aroma. Yes, I truly do mean burnt, not toasted/roasted. Flavor is a mixed bag. The pleasant notes, mainly sweet potato, and (surprisingly) salt, are just overwhelmed by a burnt taste. Luckily, the burnt flavor isn’t as strong as it is in the nose. Even so, it’s unpleasant. I’m also getting a slight headache. Possibly due to the tea. I can’t be sure. The burnt taste dominates the finish. Eventually, it gives way to some sweetness. My throat feels chalky. Conversely, my mouth is slightly salivating. As the leaves continue to unfurl, it’s obvious that they’re still mostly green. My guess, is they roasted it at a high temperature, for a low amount of time. I don’t think this is a charcoal roast. It’s not mellow or thick enough.
I’m starting to feel slightly sick. That burnt note is just not playing well with my tastebuds. The front mouth taste sweetness (sweet potato) is definitely more pronounced. There’s also a sort of tiny metallic note coming in. It’s not unpleasant. It actually gives the tea a nice contrast to the much heavier burnt taste. Everytime I start to notice a new, or more pleasant, note, the burntness overwhelms it. It is such a bummer.
After the fifth brewing, the burnt aroma seems to finally be mellowing out. It’s still not very enjoyable, but at least it’s no longer aggressively unpleasant. Flavor keeps getting sweeter with every brew. The burnt taste is also way down. Finally, after six brews, we have a slightly decent cup of tea. That is harsh, but not entirely unfair. The tea had some good flavors, but that burnt taste/aroma/feel completely killed my enjoyment of this tea. It’s frustrating, since this is obviously good quality leaf, that was ruined in the processing. I have a theory on where the burntness comes from. The leaf contained a lot of near-fanning sized material. I think these were charred bits, left over from previous roastings. If this theory is correct, than that is not acceptable.
Flavors: Burnt, Burnt Food, Roast Nuts