I actually tried this for the first time a few months ago, but I loved it so much that I wanted to wait until after ordering a cake before posting my notes here:
Quick rinse. Smell is light spicy wood, made my nose tingle.
10s (started at 200F): Warm woods, my nose is tingling, and it has that sort of big air mouth-stretching sensation I enjoy and have mostly gotten from some of bitterleaf’s teas before. Afterwards, a sweetness builds in the depths of my throat.
15s: A bit of slightly tart fruitiness and the barest hint of bitterness join in.
15s (switched to boiling water now): More bitter, in a good way! The liquid feels thicker, brothier, and I feel that mild/moderate bitterness go down my throat. The path it follows feels vivid for a while after, carved and memorable. After the sip, that path slowly fades to cool and sweet. Really enjoying just sitting here and experience that transformation.
20s: Pop rocks at the back of my mouth at the start of the sip. More umami and astringency joining in. Cheeks going fuzzy. Breath going colder, faster.
25s: OH this tea just really came into its own. Initial pop rocks and brightness. Bitterness is more direct and aggressive, but at the same time there’s a higher airier note accompanying it, adding some needed complexity. Then the bitter charges down my throat and leaves cool air and teeth and sides of tongue and throat in its wake, but also that higher unidentifiable aroma note stays in my mouth to elevate the whole experience. My cheeks are warm and lightly fuzzy, my teeth and palate and throat are cold, my heart is starting to pound. Feels like ice at that spot right behind my top front center teeth where I tsk at people who are rude on the train. This is where it’s at!
30s: Same except now my tongue is starting to go numb after.
35s: My first thought: tastes like liquid gold. Staying bright, getting sweeter and also more mineral overall. Oh, I like this one a lot!
40s/56s/70s: Mellowing, fruitier in the throat. This tea could easily go longer, but I’m out of time for this morning.
On the walk to the train afterwards: Tongue feels almost gritty. Lips feel almost numb. I feel like I’m glowing. Not a manic high, I really just feel GOOD.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Spicy, Wood