This tea feels a little bizarre. I just read through all the reviews and it seems like everyone gets something different from these little sticks. First session, the first note I picked up, I swear to god, was pickles. Maybe this is what everyone else is calling sake, but I got pickles. Followed straightaway by vanilla…I’m sorry, what? But then, everything is so subtle I start wondering if I’m making things up. Bizarre.
Minerals then, and a kind of florality that I couldn’t really place — a taste I associate with white tea, for sure. Maybe this is the lychee others are describing, though it didn’t scream fruit or even sweet to me — more floral. Licorice crept in and my tongue tingled a bit. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who experienced and tried to describe this sensation. Around steep 5 or 6, things got quite astringent, with a pronounced drying effect after swallowing.
I thought I’d erred a little soft on the ratio for my first session; I doubled it for the second — about 2g tea:1oz water. I did get some honey and a more fruity, lychee-esque flavor in this session — but bitterness and astringency were also more pronounced, which maybe stripped some of the more nuanced flavors out for me. I’m not certain at this point which ratio I prefer or would recommend.
I’ll be going back to this tea to explore and dig around. At this point, it feels more like a fun experiment than a straight-up enjoyable experience, but I’m not opposed to a good diversion. I may not invite white antlers over again, but I’m not sad they’re in town for now.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Licorice, Mineral, Vanilla