Unusually fragrant when opening the bag, it smells so much like hot cross buns, which is what I’ve experienced in a few other aging whites, but the intensity here is striking. Yeasty rolls, red fruits, icing sugar, citrus; cinnamon undertone but definitely not a distinct note.
Warming a rinsing brings in full force a potpourri of flowers both fresh and dried, more differentiated citrus notes, honey and whiffs of something like myrrh.
The tea does well with shorter and longer steeps in a gaiwan, my preference lying in the latter. Very hot water is needed to reveal the depth of aromas and flavors. The floral aroma slips underneath the first sips which are at first sweet with nectar and tangy with citrus. A full, underlying woody and dried autumn leaf character mingles with red fruits and apricot. A muted caramelized sugar note keeps the tea from going too woody or leafy. Citrus zest notes are prominent in the finish and continue to grow. The bottom of the cup smells so rich and sweet, like molten, bubbling sugar just beginning to brown.
I’ve also brewed this western a few times with pretty long steeps, 5, sometimes 10 minutes. The redfruits and citrus become muted and the tea becomes very syrupy sweet and woody. The syrupy sweetness reminds me of Costa Rican agua dulce.
It’s a good aging white with no flaws. Long-lasting tea, high energy but not too strong. A tea I could see myself buying another sample of but not a whole cake.
Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Brown Sugar, Chrysanthemum, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Dry Leaves, Geranium, Honey, Incense, Lemon, Nectar, Peony, Perfume, Powdered Sugar, Red Fruits, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tangerine, Tangy, Thick, Vanilla, Wet Wood, Wood, Yeast