Just realized I’ve nearly finished my supply of this without posting any impressions.
Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout – from gaiwan to glass cha hai to bone porcelain cup:
Twisted, wilted, very dark individual leaves with some rust/gold tips remind me of talons.
No wash, steeped around 10 times, slowly moving up from 10 seconds to a full minute by the final pour.
Marigold liquor that grows more auburn as you extend the steep time – almost like the tea is blushing, embarrassed for me for steeping it too long. The aroma of the dry and wet leaves is consistent, singular, and difficult to find a direct analogy for. Hints of cream, straw, and low earthy and floral aromatics round out the profile.
The flavor adds a mild biscuit malt character to the nose, along with chocolate, toasted pecans, and some (wine like?) minerality (wet stones) in the finish.
Smooth, pleasant mouth-feel with no perceptible astringency unless you let it steep for several minutes.
As described, this is a mellow but characterful black tea with some qualities of an oolong. A very good value, and quite pleasurable on a rainy/Winter day.