Tonight’s Gong Fu session.
This is just one of a whole bunch of white teas that I grabbed from W2T recently; I was really craving white tea tonight so I figured I’d try at least one of the samples I picked up. Not sure why I chose this one; I guess it was just the first thing I pulled from my cupboard and it sounded good enough?
I’m really glad I chose it though, because I’ve been milking this session for HOURS now. Seriously, I took a break in the middle of the session to make and eat supper but even leaving that break out I think I’ve been drinking this tea for like four hours? I’m easily over twenty infusions now and even through the flavour is almost completely gone, this is still just faintly flavoured. It’s a white with A LOT of staying power. I mean, to be completely fair I don’t know how much leaf I used at all. I’m kind of kicking myself for not knowing that, now that I’m so heavily invested in the session and since it’s been so enjoyable. When I started, though, I was just feeling something SUPER casual so I grabbed a 100ml gaiwan and just tossed in a really large cake piece from my 25g sample – no weighing involved. Man do I wish I’d weighed it…
Ok, so I’m not going to break down each infusion one by one. Twenty plus infusions would be insane to treat in that manor, and this would end up being more of a 2014 Shou Mei ‘thesis’ rather than a ‘tasting note’. Lets talk about the two main things in some(ish) detail though – mouthfeel and, secondly, taste. So, as far as mouthfeel goes this is REALLY soft and creamy. Right from the start it’s just been a wickedly smooth tea. It’s also really forgiving – there were some pretty fucking oversteeped infusions in this session and even with times where I forgot I was steeping tea for over, like, eight minutes this never got even remotely astringent. Or bitter, for that matter. Like, it’s just super smooth and tasty. It would be a REALLY good candidate for grandpa style steeping.
As far as flavour goes, it’s been pretty consistent. Now that my session has essentially tapered off I’m pretty much only getting hints of stonefruit and a little bit of a raisin/sappy kind of finish. However, at it’s “peak” this tasted really eerily of freshly baked hot cross buns: malt, cream, honey, buttery pastry, raisin, and sweet hay notes. The finish was just a TINY touch softly spiced/spiced in a warming way. Like a diluted cinnamon sort of effect. Definitely channeled hot cross bun/raisin bread vibes. That was from around infusions three(ish) to maybe ten(ish). From there, we sort of moved past the buttery pastry elements and leaned more into hot hay, raisin, and stonefruit notes. Apricot/nectarine specifically. Maybe the TINIEST bit lemony? I could just be feeling that way because the finishing note is a little tangy like lemon, though.
Anyway, do I recommend this tea? Hell yeah. I think it’s good as a daily drinker type tea but also for when you have A LOT of spare time and can really draw out your session in a big way. I’ll probably also try this Grandpa and Western, too just to see what that’s like as well…
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Hay, Honey, Hot hay, Lemon, Malt, Pastries, Peach, Raisins, Stonefruits, Straw, Sweet