I found the compression and composition of the sample quite enjoyable. The leaves were relatively even in size, moderately long, pleasantly colored, and fresh-looking. It was nice to get a cake sample that wasn’t just the iron-fist tight and all-dust core of the beeng. The tea opened slowly and quietly. The dry leaf aroma was low and lightly sweet. The first two steeps were rather quiet, especially clean, and a little plain.
The fourth steep really shined. Lacking any coarseness and feeling smooth and velvety, this tea glided pleasingly across the palate. Bits of sweetness, distant stone-fruit, and some moss glowed in the finish. Confident dryness and back-of-the-throat bitterness rounded out the presentation. I longed for more earth, tree bark, lichen, and wet forest, but was happy with the balance, smoothness, and robustness of this tea’s texture. It was solid tea, but it wasn’t so exemplary that I would ignore my ethical concerns and buy tongs of Lao Ban Zhang tomorrow. There are other teas, with better provenance and less cost.
Finally, I’ll say that I didn’t find the chaqi particularly notable, in fact it seemed a little soft to me. I feel pleasant, calm, and peaceful, not electrically charged or overwhelmed.
Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=207