Trying a sample of this for a late morning tea today (thanks for the sample, Angel!), 7g to 100ml in ruyao gaiwan, preheated and one rinse with boiling water in a thermos.
This starts off predominantly roasty, with a smooth, faint floral bitterness and a lingering roasted char aftertaste. Astringency starts to ramp hard as it opens up, but the roast turns nutty and a bit of light caramel sweetness enters center stage as well. A lingering sweet throat coating builds up over the steeps as well, adding to the dry feeling of the astringency.
Despite being a yancha, I didn’t taste any rocks until about steep 6, where a very clean mineral (rather than standard wet rocks) flavor emerged from the roast alongside more caramel sweetness. The astringency does die down again around this point as well, but it’s pretty prominent throughout the session. The flavor profile is a bit strong on the roast, but it does have some nice flavors throughout, particularly at the beginning with that odd combination of lightly bitter florals that I found refreshing in mouthfeel and taste.
Overall, I thought it wasn’t bad, but too astringent for my liking, something that was improved as my water cooled, so perhaps I will try this with cooler water next time, especially as the lid had an amazing floral sweet roast aroma that wasn’t reflected in the tea. The liquor in the cup also seemed to sweeten and mellow as it cooled, so something to consider. It lasts about 8 steeps before it begins to die, which is pretty good, and a good amount of get up and go for the morning.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Caramel, Char, Floral, Nuts, Roasted