There are two things to note about our little Iron Arhat here: 1) despite being one of the more expensive Wu Yi options from Yunnan Sourcing, it is still comparatively and relatively inexpensive (thank you, YS!) 2) it’s worth it. It clearly bridges the gap between costing more and thus having to deliver more. Not every tea with a higher price does that!
It is a complex, rich, and intriguing tea. Richness provided by cocoa and nutty notes, sweetness provided by red fruit notes, full body rounded out with cherry wood and mineral notes. In addition, and importantly, there is a noticeable sourness to it, but in a VERY GOOD way. If you have experienced the American phenomenon of “blue raspberry,” then you know what I’m talking about. It’s a raspberry sweetness that is cut through with some mouth-watering sourness that just lifts the flavor profile up and makes the flavors more intense and enjoyable. If “blue raspberry” means about as much to you as “Iron Arhat” does, well, then think slightly under-ripe raspberry or even sweet grapefruit.
I’m a sucker for pretty much anything from Wu Yi as it is, but what a treat this Arhat is. Inspired indeed!
Dry leaf: Mexican chocolate, cocoa powder, dry dark chocolate, waxy scented-candle sweetness, mineral sweetness, hint of dry cherry and dehydrated strawberries. In preheated vessel – sweet minerality and green leaf come to foreground.
Smell – roasted and sugared nuts, praline, roasted peanut, dry red fruit sweetness (dehydrated strawberries)
Taste – NUT: heavily roasted (but not burnt!) almond and pecan. SWEET: Mexican chocolate, cocoa powder, cherry wood, sweet minerality. FRUIT: raspberry-infused dark chocolate, raspberry. Is “blue raspberry Sour Patch kids” a stretch?! I kept getting those notes!