This is the first sample from China Cha Dao I’ve tried. I brewed it gongfu-style with a 10-second rinse of the leaves before I started.
Dry leaves smell kind of sweet, with woodsy notes and a tiny bit of citrus, though this last note is incredibly faint.
1st infusion: 15 seconds
Tea is pale gold in colour, sort of like honey. The aroma reminds me of the smell of tabacco, though not in a bad way – the sweet, woodsy notes that are also present make this a pleasant smell. The taste is fresh and sweet with vegetative notes (but different to the ones I would expect to find in a green tea – this reminds me of tree bark). Does that make sense?
2nd infusion: 30 seconds
The tea is much darker this time. It tastes and smells pretty much the same as the first, though perhaps not as sweet, but still very fresh.
3rd infusion: 45 seconds
The leaves are still very rolled up. The tea is now more mellow and the tabacco note in the aroma is now apparent in the taste, if only barely (I have never tasted anything like that in tea before – I don’t think it can be contaminated because no-one in the household smokes, but it seems very odd. Not unpleasant, just odd). The tea feels like silk in my mouth.
4th infusion: 60 seconds
The tea is starting to get a little watery now, so this will be my last steep. The taste is mellow with woody notes. It isn’t bitter at all, not even in the aftertaste, which I sometimes find with darker oolongs.