Okay, I’m back for another round of posting some reviews from the giant backlog of death. I had hoped to get at least two or three posted yesterday, but I ended up volunteering to scare children at my cousin’s haunted corn maze. I can’t turn down the opportunity to terrorize children, so Steepster got put on the backburner for the day. Anyway, this was one of my sipdowns from late summer of 2020. Though I found the spring 2017 version of this tea to be just kind of decent, this version was actually very good.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a standard 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of orange blossom, custard, pomegranate, nectarine, and orchid. After the rinse, new aromas of honey, smoke, sugarcane, pear, and roasted almond emerged on the nose. The first infusion introduced subtle aromas of wood and spinach. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of grass, butter, spinach, wood, roasted almond, honey, orchid, and cream that were backed by hints of baked bread, smoke, sugarcane, orange blossom, nectarine, pomegranate, and sour cherry. The bulk of the subsequent infusions introduced new aromas of lychee, peach, grass, sour cherry, plum, and green bell pepper to the tea’s bouquet. Stronger and more immediately presented notes of baked bread, smoke, sugarcane, pomegranate, and sour cherry emerged in the mouth with notes of minerals, custard, violet, earth, peach, plum, lychee, cantaloupe, orange zest, watermelon rind, pear, and green bell pepper. Hints of white grape and vanilla could be detected as well, while interesting and unexpected impressions of beeswax, wintergreen, and cannabis lingered on the back of the throat after each swallow. As the tea faded, the liquor began to emphasize notes of orchid, orange zest, cream, butter, baked bread, green bell pepper, roasted almond, sugarcane, grass, and wood that were chased by fleeting hints of honey, peach, pomegranate, lychee, violet, spinach, sour cherry, plum, watermelon rind, and white grape.
In the 2017 version of this tea, the vegetal notes started to become awkward and overpowering late in my gongfu sessions, but in this spring 2018 production, they were more balanced and integrated. This tea was much deeper and more complex than its earlier counterpart, and it was also much less bitter and astringent. This was a much better tea overall. What a difference a year can make!
Flavors: Almond, Bread, Butter, Cannabis, Cantaloupe, Cherry, Cream, Custard, Earth, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Herbaceous, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Nectarine, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plum, Pomegranate, Smoke, Spinach, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Violet, Watermelon, Wax, White Grapes, Wood