Got this as a sample with my recent white2tea order and was so excited to find it in my parcel, it had piqued my interest in the website. I mean, who wouldn’t want to taste cakes specially ordered, to be created for a rich collector? This is my chance to taste vault tea, one wonders what happened to the poor guy. Did he need the money and decide to sell, or is he pushing up daisies and didn’t really get to taste his made-to-order? Either scenario could be me, soon enough, at my age. Another good reason to taste this is because I am finally trying an example of the type of tea leaves a person should look for when selecting to age, for this is a powerful tea leaf.
7 grams in the Yixing with 90 ml water, all of this is loose, and still dark green. Got a small 3 grams of intact cake so I decided to brew the loose and save the 3 g for a light session. One rinse. Tea liquor shows this one has aged! Nicely amber, juicy and thick. First three steeps are bitter and incredibly astringent, which indicates the amazing strength of this leaf. This is not one of those sheng teas which are smooth early on. Yep it is turning, all right, but this has got a good ways to go.
Fifth steep and the bitterness is wearing down somewhat to floral and wood, but still astringent, very dry tongue yet. My throat is nice and comfortable, however. Sixth steep and I need to brew longer than the 10 seconds I’ve been using so far. Tongue sticking to the roof of my mouth now. Not heavily smoked, just a touch of smoke in this tea.
This tea begs to be awakened and put up wet. A couple years of more humid storage would kick start this one and it will age into a tea that will likely put me on the floor. So much potential here! What this seems to be is about as close as I will ever get to a guaranteed stunning age-er. In fact I will bet that this will be amazing if treated with the respect it deserves. Kept very dry, this won’t budge. But it is ready to turn all that power into flavor.
Of course the price is already higher than most people would want to pay at $149.50. What this price buys, however, is a quality of leaf that westerners can’t get outside China or even inside China for that matter. The price buys a guaranteed successful aging project in a rather short term, if watched carefully. I am not going to rate this because it is like rating a girl on the strength of her womanhood. Okay, I need to pry my tongue off the roof of my mouth now and pray the phone doesn’t ring and nobody needs me to talk anytime soon.
Flavors: Astringent, Flowers, Wood