This was a pit stop along a brief hei cha journey that actually began over a year ago. I sampled some tian jian a while ago and enjoyed it, so I invested in another tian jian, some liu bao, and some fu just to get some bearings on the hei cha world.
Much like my liu bao experience, my fu experience has required some getting used to. It is very yeasty and grainy – almost starchy – and not at all what you get from any other tea.
It’s not bad; in fact, it is intriguing because of how different it is. I had an easier time aligning tian jian with hong cha (sort of), and liu bao with ripe pu’erh. This guy, though, stands alone. Imagine putting a little brewer’s yeast into a black tea breakfast blend and you get sort of close.
Anyway, I would certainly recommend this to anyone who really enjoys exploring the breadth and depth of Chinese teas. Because it is so different from everything else, it is a necessary pit stop. It took me a full year to wrap my head around it, and I still am, to be honest. Probably not a re-purchase for me, but I’m holding a little back so I can revisit it in another year or so.
Dry leaf: brewer’s yeast, black tea breakfast blend. In preheated vessel – stronger aromas as before, with notes of starchy cooked yam, and hints of grape syrup and bruleed sugar
Smell: brewer’s yeast, cooked yam, dry spices
Taste: brewer’s yeast, milky mild black tea breakfast blend, hints of dark caramel. Aftertaste of hardwood, cream of wheat, with hints of lemongrass.