This is an awesome tea and is likely one of the best autumn Simao shengs you can come across. The only slight drawback is that I would prefer a more pungent bitterness in a young tea, but I am hoping the spring one from 2019 would fare better in that regard. Otherwise it is a very clean tasting tea, memorable with hard to describe flavours, complex aroma, and a very interesting mouthfeel. It also has a sort of comforting cha qi, a great one all across the board. I find this tea to be hard to overbrew, the bitterness and astringency intensify of course, but it remains very much drinkable and interesting even when pushed.
The dry leaves smell very floral and sweet with hints of cauliflower, honey, and ginger cookies. In a preheated pot, the aroma reminds me of some cough syrup, and is quite unusual. Once wet, I detect various other aromas of peppercorn, fenugreek, mushrooms, and orchid. It is strong, floral and slightly earthy I’d say. Interestingly, there’s an additional scent I found when smelling the empty cup, which is that of incense. All in all, an explosion of aromas :D
The taste is grassy, sweet and floral with a muted bitterness and some tartness in the background. Flavour wise it reminds me of forest, hay and bay leaf, but I realize that doesn’t quite do the tea justice, I am just finding it hard to find the right words to describe it. The aftertaste is warming and dry, but not too astringent. It has a cinnamon spiciness and white grape tartness, both of which are fairly prominent. The flavour stays for a very long time and there is a strong hui gan as well.
As for the mouthfeel, the tea is full bodied, slick, coating, and soft. I found it to be active and mouth-watering as well. Drinking it makes me feel relaxed and calm, there is no caffeine rush as far as I can tell. I recommend this tea very much!
Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Cookie, Drying, Earth, Floral, Ginger, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Mushrooms, Orchid, Peppercorn, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Vegetables, White Grapes