2013 Xiaguan Love Forever, Paper Tong, TW stored
Liquid Proust Teas
7.3g, 80mL shuiping, 212f Poland spring water
Curious to see what the hype is all about…
Dry leaf smells pretty dried fruity, but has been stored with my other samples, so that could be it too
Wet leaf is a dark smoky herbal medicinal with a touch of fruit, so essentially all the good aged sheng hallmarks. Something about is reminiscent of gasoline but not quite there
8s: bitter citrus tinged medicinal in the vein of the TCM stomach pain medicine my parents would make me drink as a kid. Aftertaste has a slight mint hint on the edges of sweetness.
12s: similar, but with a deeper medicinal bitterness. Leaves mouth and teeth a little dry, with a crisp sugary aftertaste, but is very fleeting.
18s: Bitterness in the TCM medicine aspect is very strong. Not much aftertaste, still drying.
22s: similar vein but a touch of fruitiness to complement what was there. Not much in the way of aftertaste… given that I leafed on heavier side and am left w abt 60-65mL per steep after accounting for leaf displacement, I can’t say I’m super impressed with this so far. I did probably set my expectations too high given how much hype is around LFPT though. As of this steeping, I would not purchase a cake (the lame cheesy wrapper is so tempting though I gotta say… all my other cake wrappers are on the boring side), though I’m curious to see how this will change over time and if the bitterness and drying will fade any. Granted, the maocha is from 2003, so it’s already aged quite a bit. Am feeling some jitters from caffeine, but also some calming effect. Not much in the way of warming or other effects that I might’ve been expecting from the qi, so pretty light in this one
30s: in between steeps I read through Shah8 and Oolong Owl’s notes. I smelled the leaves and I agree that there is a plummy aspect, though light. This aspect is something I’ve smelled before in aged sheng leaves but I’ve never noted it because it’s fairly subtle to me (probably would’ve just noted a slight woody fruity and left it there) and I wouldn’t have been able to distinctly point it out without reading other’s notes on it. It’s one of those things that you can’t unsee I suppose. I guess I am still sort of dense when it comes to this type of thing because the only time I’ve noted plums is when I was bowled over with the association from aged oolongs.
Taste is still medicinal, though less bitter and more of a forward fruity aspect. Something slightly crisp sugar and floral in the brief aftertaste.
40s: lightened, though with crisper aftertaste
1 min. 30s: still steeps a nice color but not much taste to it except a fruity bitterness
4 min.: something about this smell reminds me of tart apple skin. Still a light taste like before. Will do one more steep and thermos remainder
10 min.: quite bitter again. into the thermos this goes
Overall: Good texture overall, though this is something that is usually hard to evaluate for me due to usually using tap and getting thinner brews. I’m glad I never blind bought a cake, since the number of times I’ve felt tempted to is far greater than I care to admit. The bitter medicinal draws up more or less not too pleasant of connotations for me, and it was definitely the most drying tea I’ve had in quite a while, which was none too pleasant. Perhaps I would’ve been more generous if I hadn’t come in with such high expectations but that’s the downside of reading too many favorable reviews beforehand