Honestly rather surprised that I’m the first reviewing this one.
The smell of these wet leaves are amazing! Fruity gummies, cherries and plums. The dry leaves smells subtly of plum preserve/jam.
2 Rinses at 10s each.
Steep – Time – Notes
1st – 10s – The aroma of the wet leaves is indeed imparted to the tea. Not much of the flavor in this steep though. I just finished the last cup of my previous tea session early this morning so that may be influencing this tasting, but I’m noticing a bit of a heady cha qi going on. We’ll see how it develops going forward. Despite not carrying much of the fruit flavors I smell it does have wonderful sweetness that blossoms at the back of the throat before gently fading away.
2nd – 10s – Heeyyyyy! There’s that lovely plum/cherry note I smelled in the leaves! _
Sweet, pleasant astringency. Nice dry finish. I thought there was no bitterness, but there is a slight bitter note in the aftertaste that quickly melts into that fruity sweetness. I think you have to really be looking for it to even notice it. I’d take it as a good indication that this tea shouldn’t be pushed too hard in the early steeps. Very good tea.
3rd – 15s – Light, airy, cha qi going on right now. :) The fruit notes are a little more subtle here and the tea tastes more grassy, sort of typical of shengs. The sweetness in the aftertaste has increased a bit. A little more bitterness in this one. Loving the relaxed cha qi. Feeling energized, relaxed and focused all at once.
4th – 15s – Slight bitterness in the mouth followed by surprising sweetness in the aftertaste. That’s a first. The fruity notes are still subdued as the grassy notes have taken center stage.
5th – 30s – Bitter note has disappeared, sweet finish is still present and some of the fruity notes are making another appearance. Nice cup… finished it too fast to say much more about it… my bad. LOL!
6th – 40s – Still fruity, but very weak. Need to up my steep time.
7th – ??s- Set my timer for 90s and then got pulled into a conversation. So… 2 minutes, 3, 5? I dunno. Long enough to bring out some bitter notes. :( I may brew one or two more pots tomorrow with these leaves. I screwed this one up, but those first few steeps were just lovely.
I need to establish my own tea rating scale so that these scores are actually more meaningful. Particularly when it comes to future purchases. Of course given how much tea I just bought from Yunnan Sourcing that may be a long, long, long way off. YQH’s Chawangshu is pricey, but that tea definitely defines the upper end of my quality scale right now. I’ll have to get in on Emmett’s next monthly buy.
Flavors: Candy, Cherry, Plum