I got to have a session with this tea courtesy a friend of mine, for which I am very grateful. Especially since it is the first (plausibly legitimate) LBZ tea I’ve ever tried. My overall impression is kind of like I would expect in some sense. The tea has a relatively strong and protracted aftertaste, albeit maybe less sweet I thought it would be. The mouthfeel and qi are both very engaging and are clearly the selling points of the tea. Its taste profile is fine, but not overly interesting or complex.
My aunt, who drinks almost exclusively Japanese green teas, refers to pu-erh as “those teas that smell like old socks”. Honestly, I’ve never made such a connection, until today. Dry leaves here actually smell like old socks :D
Another scent that I rarely get in tea, which is often used by James and Denny from TeaDB, is that of gasoline. But it was the first association I got when smelling the leaves after the rinse. Otherwise, there were also hints of tobacco and hay.
The session itself seems to have two distinctive parts. The tea accelerates fast with a full body and hard-hitting qi right from the first infusion. The texture was creamy and very viscous. The qi gets spacey and stoning very fast with a spiritual undertones. Soon afterwards, the peak energy passes and what remains is a chest warming sensation and a clarifying energy that brings me to the present moment. However, by steep 6 or so, the tea had settled into a fairly stable presence with much less interesting texture or energy and it stayed like so for the rest of the session.
The taste starts off with a sweet grassy rinse that carries a protracted nutty, bitter, and acerb aftertaste. The bitterness is of a cooling vegetal kind in the next steep and there is a honey flavour in the finish. This translates to a strong huigan, which as I mentioned already, is actually not overwhelmingly sweet.
Second infusion is woody and a bit sour. There are flavours of peppercorn, fermented fruits, and kombucha. Astringency is mild here, but there is a nice numbing sensation after swallowing. Fourth steep then bring along the epected tobacco note as well as deep fruitiness.
Two subsequent infusions follow in a similar savoury vein. A distinctive leathery flavour appears and there is also a touch of smoke. Steeps 8 to 9 are actually somewhat bitter and display a sort of earthy taste of beets coupled with a musk note. In the aftertaste, I also noticed a lingering tingling sensation.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Fruity, Grass, Hay, Leather, Nutty, Peppercorn, Sour, Sweet, Thick, Tobacco, Vegetal, Wood