Having been on a bit of an aged tea kick lately, despite the seasonal influx of new tea, I decided to pick up a sample of this with my most recent Essence of Tea order. I’ve brewed it gong fu a couple of times and taken it into work for a grandpa-style session once so far, and I can safely say it’s a pretty solid tea, although one better suited to gong fu.
The parameters here are for my most recent session. My work session with this was a little underwhelming—mostly smoke, not a whole lot of flavor or durability—and I was suspicious that I had underleafed, despite using my normal quantity of tea. Thus, this time, I went for broke on the leaf quantity, pretty well packing the gaiwan. I was rewarded for my efforts with tart, cherry-like flavors that gradually subsided to reveal undertones of softer vanilla. There’s definitely some smoke on this tea, though it’s mostly faded and present primarily when smelling the gaiwan lid; similarly, the camphor in the name seems to appear mostly in the aroma and maybe a bit in the finish.
In terms of less immediately tangible properties, the tea’s texture was nothing remarkable, although not too thin. There’s a calm but noticeable qi, and the caffeine levels seem to be pretty low, which is kind of a feature. The tea proved reasonably durable through the session, though it fell off a cliff towards the end—my steep time increments jumped from five seconds to thirty seconds or more pretty quickly.
For the price, this is a pretty solid tea. If you squint, you could think of it as a budget version of the YQH Teji, as the storage seems to have had similar effects. I’d definitely recommend sampling it, and it might be worth a cake.
Flavors: Cherry, Vanilla