I adore this tea. It’s a little on the thin side and missing a lingering aftertaste but it makes up for that with its clean, dark and seductive waves of black licorice, star anise and concentrated red cherry aroma and taste. It has just a hint of bitterness and astringency that mingle with the sweet-sour taste. I like to do two western steeps.
The base tea is Whispering Pines’ Ailaoshan Black which I also adore and have ordered over a few seasons. It tends to be a light-bodied cookie-wood-dark fruit tasting tea to me. This Cheshire Black is from 2017 if I recall correctly and it seems that the base tea has matured, really bringing forward a red cherry aroma and taste. To me it is not a medicinal cherry; rather it is specifically reminiscent of cherry Jolly Ranchers candies. The star anise has lost its sharp edge since I bought this batch but it is in no danger of fading away anytime soon.
Man, this is the perfect tea for this time of year.
On a tea related note, school was cancelled M-W (we also have off R and F for American Thanksgiving) due to the air quality still being so poor from the fire up north. With my unexpected free time today, I wandered the streets of Chinatown in search of puerh storage containers.
I’m excited to have found a clay pot that’s glazed everywhere except the underside of the lid. It’s the perfect size to accommodate 4-200g cakes and I can wet the underside of the lid for humidity. $6 filthy find stashed out of reach on a top shelf of some store called The Wok Shop. Lady said the pot has been there like 20 years. It did have some unidentifiable ‘dust’ objects inside it. shrugs
At a no-name odds and ends store I bought a smaller double-lidded ceramic crock for $5 to keep a broken up shou cake. My final purchase today was $5 worth of osmanthus flowers from some ginseng shop. I’m excited to finally try osmanthus by itself! Awesome, cheap finds today and I didn’t buy any actual tea :)