It took me two sessions and some time to put my notes in order. I desperately wanted to understand this tea. I heard a boom of commotion when this tea was released. Inquisitive label. Zero info. Insane price. Buzz-word vendor. Least to say, my interest was piqued. I managed to get my hands on a fair amount, and I made sure to let it settle for a bit before trying it. I planned out the session with my fancy teaware, spring water (personally harvested from the aquifer in hills), an empty schedule, the whole nine yards. I wasn’t gonna miss out on anything. I took my time, I breathed in the tea, I sipped long and slow, I gave it the attention it deserved. Now, if you want the notes on what it tastes like, skip to the bottom. If you want to hear me ramble on my thoughts and feeeelings, then you should read on. I look back of the lessons that tea has taught me, so that I can mold what my feelings are towards this leaf. I’ve experienced that when tea has a big hype, it can largely influence my thoughts. I try my best to disregard that “hype”. In doing so, I remember that high price=high material is not always true. Sometimes, it is largely due to the difficulty in acquiring the material. For instance, if I walk 10 miles for a penny, that doesn’t mean that the penny turns into gold; its still a penny. However, this tea is in no way, shape, or form comparable to the value of a penny. On that thought then, what makes this tea so high priced? I can imagine the fantastic trees of some unknown location that makes this tea magical. Logically, my mind instantly shoots to aged puerh. A semi-aged factory cake is around this price, and it is larger, so I see it as more valuable than this tea. However, the common response to this is that the material used now is far greater than before. The fact that we can drink fresh tea, and it still can carry the full texture sensation on the tongue provides that. Therefore, this tea will age immensely better than how factory tea has over the years. On the contrary, I have no way of knowing this. Honestly, I can run myself into circles with the “ageing potential” question of new boutique tea, so I digress. The next lesson I point to is to ignore marketing. This tea is marketing. The wrapper stands upright as a middle finger directed towards the “label effect”, in which this acts as a marketing tactic inclining us to want it. However, the answer to this argument is fairly simple: Stop bitching and let the tea speak for itself. After I ran myself into a maze, I decided to do just that.
I drank twice. I drank once in October and again in December. The steeping in December really solidified my thoughts towards this tea. Here is a quick synopsis:
Dry: Sweet. Mineral. Fig.
Warm: Odd. Herbaceous. Light cream? Never smelled something like. reminded of 54-46.
Steeped: Fresh greens. Milk?. Green tea chai.
Taste/Liquor: Subtle. Pale jade. Astringently sweet. Cream finish. Thick (fuck all thick).
Now, right of the bat, you do not spend this kind of money for tastes. For a poor example, I wouldn’t buy cocaine for its numbing effects when I can drink $8.95 Pharmacy Benzocaine. With that being said, this tea gives a sensation that is unusual. I wouldn’t call it the strongest, drowsing, or energizing. I have had better in those categories. Instead, I would call this the cleanest. I define clean as something that runs so in line with how my body is already functioning that I don’t feel intoxicated; rather, I would describe it as being complimented. The taste was poor (little aggressive of a word); I read a review that said “artichoke water”. I agree with that term; it does have a runny characteristic. However, the feeling was a compliment to me. I drank steep after steep, and I couldn’t really notice much. I had my pen in hand, jotting down every thought and sensation, and I couldn’t say much on qi. I would sit back and fold my arms behind my head pondering on this brew; I took in the steady vibes of my music playing in the background. Then, my friend came in and began to strike up a conversation with me. That’s when it happened; I stood up from tea table and all the time I spent sitting caught up with me. I was aligned. I forgot my friend was even there; I was in my own little world. I excused myself, and I walked outside. The frigid east coast December air felt nice on my skin. I then realized I had been sweating quite a bit. The setting sunlight seemed brighter, the breeze felt softer, the trees seemed prettier. This is the best way I can describe being complimented by tea. This is why I can understand the high price tag. To continue, I ended wandering back inside and getting back into my session. The tea lasted all day with good vibes and pleasant enough taste. I enjoyed my time with this brew. Now, to get to the bottom line. I want more info. I don’t like the idea of mystery tea that costs a pretty penny; I have trust issues. Also, to go off my trust issues, I don’t know how this will age. A factory recipe that is aged well enough can hit the $800 mark prior to reaching 15 years old. This tea is not even a year old, and it is not only smaller, but it is already halfway to that mark. I need evidence that it ages. Personally, I couldn’t spend that on a fresh tea. I may be kicking myself when this ages beautifully, and it is worth 2k in 5 years. That’s my shit, so I’ll deal. I don’t have an issue frivolously spending on a drinking hobby, but I can’t do it for this. To those that own this, enjoy the compliment; its a beautiful experience.