I think a bit of background to this tea is useful. This is one of 5 reproductions of 5 ‘master piece’ teas. Jakub gives a less an average review of this tea with, ‘The taste reminded me of bland, sweet wood, with below-average amount of smoke and some camphor. Not too interesting, in my opinion.’ I will give my account of this tea below.
If you like your tea dark then you may like this. I received it as one of two free samples with my order from SampleTea.com.
Dry leaf: Dark; no aroma.
Wet leaf: Bacon profile; dust, toasted fruit, dry smoke from smouldering wood. An old book shelf. Peat smoke.
Summary: Rust nail with smoke.
5s – It is subdued, slight smoke, faint herbyness. It has a matured flavour; that is, it has no sharpness, but it has some complexity.
10s – It is wrapped in the Lapsang Souchong (toasted pines) smoke. Mainly wood, smouldering wood.
25s – Liquor is dark orange. I brewed it longer because I think it needed it. It has astringency. It is more punchy; the smoke is stronger. There is a flavour I cannot describe yet – possibly stewed tea or rust. My empty cup has a strong dry smoky aroma.
25s – Liquor is dark orange again. Dry smoke; tingling sweetness. The profile is not linear, but it is a bit flat.
30s – Smoke. I feel like I’m engulfed in smoke from all angles. Kipper smoke; rusty smoke. Astringent. Good one if you like smoke. It is not a thick smoke like 2013 Yunnan Sourcing “San He Zhai”, but it is constant, a range of smokes and heavy on the smoke.
30s – Didn’t reboil hoping to improve it. The smoke has an element of fishiness in cooked pu erh that has not been aired off.
40s – Less smoke; still flat; woody.
50s – There is a spicy element, which is rusty sweet.
I think this tea has had some humid storage as the liquor colour being bronze suggests this and it has a lack of complexity and clarity, which I find in most dry stored teas.
Flavors: Drying, Smoke