Prepared in a glass gaiwan, this is all spicy pastoral. Animalic muskiness that’s not contained within a barnyard, rolling dry pastures, parchment, sun-warmed earth and a soft savory quality reminiscent of tempered hing (which smells like sweated onions to me) and fresh mushrooms or aquafaba. These all present within a silky, unctuous mouthfeel that gives way to mouthwatering quartz-like minerality before finishing with an astringency that is most noticeable after the first few infusions.
There are delicate white rose and maybe geranium florals; fruity nuances such as apricot and papaya and tiny sparkles of muscatel; a quiet caramel note; white pepper, orange blossom, sugared lemon, rose leaf and wintergreen aromatics that elevate this tea from one that could be overly rustic into a tea that is rather refined. I’m sure there’s more.
The feeling is drying-warming, also masculine in a way that only a white tea could be. I wish I had more to play with — Nepali teas, while often exceedingly beautiful, can require some attention to avoid astringency.
Quite the difference between western steeping and gongfu. Western presents still with those spicy warm straw and earth tones, sweeter and even a little chewy honey-malt, not animalic or savory, while the fruit is more pronounced, sitting in the midtones and reaching higher into the olfactories. A distinct watermelon note comes out on the backend.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Beans, Caramel, Drying, Dust, Earth, Floral, Geranium, Honey, Hot Hay, Lemon, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Mushrooms, Musk, Oily, Onion, Orange Blossom, Papaya, Paper, Peppercorn, Rose, Savory, Silky, Soft, Spices, Spicy, Spring Water, Straw, Sugar, Watermelon, White Grapes, Wintergreen