The cake has a tight compression and a light, sweet aroma. The first steep begins light to medium in strength, but the body feels full and seems to foreshadow the strength in the upcoming infusions of thick, dark orange soup. The flavors tend toward the fruity spectrum and are mostly simple in style, while the body is malty and full of “dark” sweetness, thick and ripe like prunes. Later, more smoky and woody notes climb in, and create a very balanced complexity.
The soup begins slowly and softly with a thick mouthfeel, introducing basic sweet and salty aspects. It develops into a long and waxing complexity across a second or two duration, where the flavors mentioned above begin to grow and amass one after the other. At this point, a throaty kuwei slowly emerges. It is, like the other aspects of this tea, deep. The bitterness isn’t sharp and is more “felt” than tasted. There are some drying effects towards the front of the mouth, but the throat remains moist. It reaches a medium to strong intensity as far as flavors go, before fading slowly to a stable finish that doubles as a long-lasting aftertaste. I found this to be a very interesting quality with this tea, as I usually find the sip’s finish fades before a complimentary, yet distinct aftertaste (with a slightly different flavor) emerges after the swallow. With this shengpu, the soup’s form descends to a stable and subtle intensity that simply “sticks,” lingering for quite some time. Finally, seconds after the swallow, a coolness begins to develop that intensifies as the session progresses. After the second steep, my body is calmed and warmed to the point of sweating, causing my neck and ears to become flushed.
Overall I am really pleased with this one and impatiently await the effects of a bit of age on it. The tea presents an interesting textural experience, but is not without intrigue in the flavor department. Plus, it has an elephant on the wrapper, which adds just a touch more awesomeness to it.