This was another recent sipdown of mine. I think I finished my 10g sample pouch of this tea around the start of the second week of the month. Prior to trying this one, I had only tried one other purple varietal green tea, and quite frankly, it did not do a ton for me. Of the two, I found this one to be significantly better, though I continue to doubt that teas like this will ever be up my alley.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of plum, sorghum molasses, and hay coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of malt, corn husk, grass, and sugarcane. The first infusion introduced aromas of spinach, blueberry, and cherry. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered plum, sorghum, hay, malt, grass, and corn husk notes that were backed by hints of sugarcane, spinach, cherry, and blueberry. Subsequent infusions saw more pungent fruit aromas (blackberry and pomegranate) emerge alongside subtle roasted nut, smoke, and seaweed scents. New impressions of smoke, minerals, seaweed, roasted almond, roasted chestnut, lemon, blackberry, pomegranate, and honey appeared in the mouth. A wonderfully thick, sweet honey note remained in the mouth after the swallow. The later infusions offered notes of minerals, hay, malt, grass, and lemon that were backed by a similar, though slightly more subtle, swell of honey on the finish.
Honestly, this was a pretty solid tea. Even though it was something for which I would have to be in the mood, I respected its longevity (which was pretty ridiculous for a green tea) and loved that gorgeous honey impression that emerged in the middle infusions and lingered in the mouth after each swallow. I know I have seen several people knock this tea and others like it, yet I cannot help feeling that they did not give it a proper chance as it really was far from bad. I would recommend it to adventurous drinkers looking for a unique green tea experience.
Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Fruity, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Plum, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Sugarcane