o Quantity: Half sample pack / 110 ml
o Water temperature: 90°C
o 4 infusions: 60, 60, 60, 90 sec
Stream of consciousness notes (ie. don’t think too much, don’t care about grammar, just write what you are experiencing as you experience it)
o Dry leaf aroma: sweet bark, sweet cinnamon, floral, honey, faint minerals, a faint amount of cedar
o Dry leaf aroma in heated gaiwan: strong addition of charcoal, dark spices like clove, finally cinnamon hits – all other notes from before are muted. Overall it is sweet, but the roasted note is stronger than the sweetness.
o 1 sec wash
o Throat: strong charcoal – indicative of a heavily roasted tea like a gui fei, hints of stone fruit, sweet and faint cinnamon, sweetness of sugarcane and then honey
o Wet leaf aroma: strong minerals, hint of charcoal, hint of fresh earth, wet green leaves, small amount of cinnamon at the end
o Liquor color: Medium tan/brown with a tinge of red
o Liquor aroma: aroma is faint but cinnamon is detected first, minerals are next and are almost overshadowing the cinnamon, honey sweetness is detected in a deep breath
o Taste: notes evolve on the tongue. pleasant oily mouthfeel, mineral notes linger as do cinnamon notes. The cinnamon lingers in the throat for a while as the mouth is coated in a sweet, mineral note. Sweetness hits first when the tea hits the mouth, quickly moves to minerals with a faint hint of flowers and a stronger note of cinnamon. Very smooth – small amount of astringency comes with the mineral notes. Medium to thick body.
o 2nd infusion liquor aroma: cinnamon sugar that mingles with the mineral notes seamlessly
o 2nd infusion taste: mouthfeel is creamy and oily. throat lingers with minerals and cinnamon. mineral notes hit first when the tea hits the tongue, quickly mixed with a bit of cinnamon and creamed honey. Smooth, however, there is a very apt and very small amount of astringency. Body is medium. Length is long and warming from the cinnamon notes.
o 3rd infusion taste: First notice the difference in astringency, it is gone from the second steep. All over, it does not evolve like the previous steeps, instead the notes mingle. Body is medium. Length is long and warming still but the notes are incredibly faint. Notes are of minerals, a faint hint of cinnamon, and a faint amount of flowers – the notes have a small amount of sugar cane sweetness to them. Notes are distinctly not as bold as the first two steeps.
o 4th infusion taste: Incredibly faint. Notes of winter honey, a bit of spice, and minerals. Evolution on the tongue goes from sweet, light, and creamy due to the honey notes to a small bite of astringency with mineral notes. Body is medium. Length is shorter than the previous steeps.
o Spent leave aroma: hay, minerals, wet earth, honey
o Final thoughts: After all four steeps, I would say that one and two are the most flavorful and complex. The third is interesting due to its lightness and lack of astringency.