This is the first Shui Jin Gui I have ever tried I think. Despite the dark coloured leaves, the liquor is actually not as dark. It a very aromatic and complex tea, but I’d say its aroma is more interesting than taste. I am not quite sure if it’s worth the price for me personally. Maybe yes, but not as a high priority buy, rather to keep diversity in my stash. It also doesn’t last very long, I can’t seem get much more than 100 ml/g of tea from it.
That being said, the range of aromas really is mind-blowing and I just can’t stop sniffing it :D
Dry leaves smell floral with a stonefruit note not unlike some Dan Cong oolongs. In a preheated gaiwan, I get further notes of dark wood, coffee and caramel. Once soaked in water, the aromas change significantly. There are notes of char, toffee, peat, smoke, petrichor, volcanic soil, black pepper and others. It is a sweet and somewhat metallic scent. In an empty cup, I detect further notes of frankincense and maple.
The rinse has a nice bubbly mouthfeel and full body, but it’s not very flavourful, just a roasty sweet (and thick) water. Later infusions showcase a mineral and smooth taste profile with no bitterness or astringency. Particular flavours include caramel, wood, hops, nectarine, sage, apricot pits, and licorice. There is a decent complexity in the taste, but it’s nowhere near as pungent as the aroma. The aftertaste is stronger, with a spicy, fragrant, and woody character.
The mouthfeel is very slick and soft, with a cooling and mouth-watering effect. I also notice a quick and relaxing cha qi.
Flavors: Apricot, Black Pepper, Caramel, Char, Coffee, Dark Wood, Earth, Floral, Hops, Licorice, Maple, Medicinal, Metallic, Mineral, Peat, Petrichor, Sage, Sap, Smoke, Spicy, Stonefruit, Sweet, Toffee, Wet Rocks