I am continuing in my exploration of the samples derk sent me and this is another good one. I have already tried the purple needles from the same producer, which I really liked. There are similarities between the two teas but they stand on their own for sure and provide a nice comparison.
I have to say that this tea proved to be quite challenging and sophisticated. Many of its characteristics I couldn’t easily separate and identify, which made the session all the more interesting, but also made me want to have more of the tea to play around with it.
The dry leaf smell in particular I couldn’t really place, but some of its aspects did remind me of pumpkin pie and lavender. After the rinse, the bouquet becomes very unique and complex, yet subtle. It has an arid feel to it, with notes of fresh pumpkin, sunflower seeds/oil and nuts. Later on throughout the session, it becomes a bit more fruity displaying aromas of peach, fruit tree flowers and saurkraut/pickles (not pickled cucumber). One interesting association I get is a dark, but clean cobblestone alley on a rainy night.
Body is medium to light and the liquor is quite velvety. Taste-wise, I found the tea to be quite herbaceous and nutty overall. A bit less prevalent are the sour, vegetal and floral notes like lemon zest or courgette flowers. In mid to late infusions, the tart fruity aspects get amplified, mostly I could taste passion fruit and granadilla. There are some grassy undertones too. Even when I pushed the temperatures and steeping times, I never got much astringency, which is pretty remarkable.
The aftertaste is generally fairly protracted. Like derk I also noticed white peach and the light waxy/phyllo like feeling in the mouth. The sensation is mostly cooling and clenching in the throat, expansive in the mouth and body warming.
I greatly enjoyed this silver needle with its hard-to-describe-sophistication and impressive longetivity (I got about 1.2l from the 5g).
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Earth, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Herbaceous, Lavender, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Nutty, Passion Fruits, Pastries, Peach, Pleasantly Sour, Pumpkin, Squash Blossom, Vegetal, Wet Rocks, Zucchini