I went shopping to a farmer’s market in town today and found a new cafe/teahouse serving some decent tea, that’s the first one in the Kitchener/Waterloo area that I am aware of. They have some tea from O5 and Kuura. I tried one of the new Kuura shengs – Psychotropical – which was quite nice and reminded me of Bing Dao teas a bit. When I came home, I was craving more of similar style tea so I took out this sample from YS.
It is an elegant, powerful and full bodied tea with an interesting astringency that’s not overpowering, as one would expect from Bing Dao area. It has strong and balanced flavours, mostly sweet, sour, floral, and vegetal with a bitter finish. This is one of the teas, whose autumn version is much cheaper than spring, but given how good this one is, I imagine the autumn is a better value.
The dry leaf aroma is sweet with notes of caramel and hot apple. There are a lot of different smells I get from the wet leaves, including turmeric, nettle, courgette, green pepper, and something resembling a (clean) bog. In an empty cup, the aroma reminds me of orchid, masala chai and honey. The complexity in aromas here is almost unparalleled as far as sheng is concerned.
The rinse taste is a mix of floral and vegetal notes that reminds me of green tea a bit. It is full bodied with a nice bitter finish and a fragrant aftertaste. The taste profile gets heavier very soon, with woody sweetness, and flavours of cut grass and apple skins. The finish is tart and has a medicinal bitterness that I like a lot.
There is also a very pleasant astringency throughout the session that complements the velvety, soft, and lubricating mouthfeel of the liquor. Furthermore, the astringency persists into the aftertaste, which is protracted and evolving with a strong huigan and a nice cooling effect. In terms of cha qi, I found the tea to be calming, warming, and inducing a very peaceful state – just what I needed.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUh51UKxgl0
Flavors: Apple Skins, Astringent, Bitter, Candied Apple, Caramel, Cut grass, Drying, Floral, Green Pepper, Honey, Medicinal, Milk, Orchid, Spices, Sweet, Tart, Tea, Thick, Vegetal, Wood, Zucchini