Part 4 of my 2016 CWS review. First steep had a pleasant straw/apricot flavor. Slightly sweet. Silky in the mouth. 2nd (10s): Straw/tobacco nose. I’m already feeling the cha qi from the first steep. Nice tobacco/straw flavor and silky texture; Similar to first steep. 3rd(20s): Still rich, but the flavor has shifted from sweet and silky to slightly bitter, tannic and acidic. 4th (30s): Initially sweet, then bitter, then sweet again in the finish. Very powerful finish. Strong cha qi. 5th was an oversteep (90s). Strong without excessive bitterness.
This tea is what I think of when I thing of Chawangshop teas: solid and good value, but not the highest quality. Having said that, I have to note that two of the teas I’ve tried so far, were in fact of the “highest quality” according to my rating system >=90.
After finishing my review I read other reviews that talked about the bitterness of the tea. It certainly became more bitter in later steeps, but I didn’t find the bitterness excessive. I also found that the bitterness was reduced if I used shorter steeps in later cups, yet the straw flavors still came through nicely.