Today, I felt like having some Yi Wu in the evening and I found this one in among the samples I received from derk, still largely untouched. This also happens to be the first tea by Tea Urchin that I had tried.
Opening the pouch greets me with a pungent sweet and fruity aroma of apricot and flowers. In the preheated pot, it is similar, but more mineral. The smell of the wet leaves is very different. It is complex with a strong gasoline note and a mossy character. Throughout the session I also pick up a distinctive yeast aroma.
The taste is initially a mix of fruity flavours with some dry grass and a dry white wine with a caramel-like finish. The sweetness is very noticeable, but somewhat muted and not overpowering. From 3rd steep onward, there is a floral bitterness present and a honey like fragrance emerges. Around infusion five, I notice further notes of cream and vanilla.
The aftertaste is not that flavourful, but the liquor induces a long lasting cooling feeling in the back of my mouth, which is probably the most memorable aspect of the tea. In the second half of the session there is a significant drying effect too and the aftertaste has a metallic character with a flavour close to a slightly unripe peach.
Mouthfeel is not very distinctive overall. On the other hand, the cha qi hits almost immediately, although doesn’t persist for too long. It is a very heady and defocusing like feeling. Later on, I get more of a chest warming and comforting feel from the tea.
Definitely not a bad tea at all and I have enjoyed this session (while I watched Pulp Fiction for the first time). However, I have a hunch that the profile of Man Zhuan teas is not quite for me. Apart from not being crazy about the flavour profile, I also found this particular tea to be too fragrance focused for my liking and lacking as far as the texture and aftertaste are concerned.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Caramel, Dry Grass, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Forest Floor, Fruity, Metallic, Mineral, Moss, Peach, Sweet, White Wine