Rejoice! First day of the rainy season! Let there be oil-slicked roads and accidents, landslides, lakes on 101 that span 3 lanes and potholes lurking underneath that eat cars for breakfast. Wash away the stench of months of… nevermind. It’s gray and wet, the air is clean once again, I am happy.
Wild Boar. April 2018 harvest. Gone western. 2.5g (2tsp), 8oz, 205F, 3 steeps at 3/5/11m.
The dry leaf is fragrant with dark fruit notes such as prune, blueberry, blackberry and cherry. There is a rose floral note that sits just beneath the dark fruits and an undertone of cedar and malt.
After the first steep, the wet leaf smells like prune, blackberry and a faint menthol. These also show up in the the liquor aroma with additions of cedar, amber and another incense. The first thing I notice about the liquor is not the tastes but the body. It is s full, robust and brisk with an interesting tingly, astringent mouthfeel I’ve never experienced before, pleasurable and reminiscent of a Ceylon but not quite. It’s lightly bitter, tart and mineral.
Once I get used to what’s going on in my mouth, I can focus on the tastes which are almost like a Darjeeling. I pick up on berry, cypress?, autumn leaf, salt, cherry, raisin, rye and faint malt, walnut, rose and incense. There’s a gentle menthol cooling quality to this tea that opens my sinuses. I can breathe clearly again. A moderate to strong, delayed returning sweetness appears. In the second steep, I can also pick up some butter and an odd impression of creaminess in the body. That becomes more prominent in the third steep. The aftertaste is pleasant and tart with some salivation.
Wild Boar is an interesting, unique tea. It offers a kind of simplistic quality upfront, but once I take the time to appreciate it, the scents and tastes really open up with some complexity – something that makes me want to try this brewed in a gaiwan. It has a great body and robustness that makes this a nice breakfast/morning tea. It’s not mind-blowing but for the price, this kind of quality is hard to beat.