The description of this tea mentions that the cultivar originates from Fujian. The dry leaf smell, however, reminds me of Dan Cong oolongs, but it’s even more fruity. There are notes of watermelon, peach and other fruits. After the leaves open up, the aroma changes to a more floral, grassy and spicy one. I also get some curious notes of stir fried beef and shrimps.
I found the taste to be very hard to describe. I don’t think I’ve ever had Ai Jiao yancha, but the taste profile does bear resemblance to a fruitier version of some rock oolongs. It has strong minerality and floral components. I brewed it quite strong today, which meant a less balanced profile, but the evolution of the various tastes and textures is pronounced this way and very unique. At first sip, the bitterness hits, followed by an astringency spreading all over my mouth and a tingling sourness at the back. After swallowing, I get a warming sensation spreading through my body and a fragrant, floral aftertaste that slowly gives way to a rock sugar and cantaloupe sweetness. At first, the cha qi seems to be more of a bodily experience, but over time I notice heightened sensations as well.
All in all, this is a tea that I think has to be experienced, there is nothing like it in my past drinking experiences to be honest.
Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwcaDvr8f1o
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Cantaloupe, Floral, Fruity, Melon, Mineral, Peach, Sour, Spicy, Sugar