100C, 5g/100mL, gongfu.
I apparently deleted my note before uploading it to steepster, so here goes, from memory:
First of all, thanks to fidgetiest for the tea! It was very much appreciated
The smell of the dry leaves is just…roasted which was concerning as someone who doesn’t like 1 note roasted teas (like hojicha). However, upon placing the leaves into a pre-rinsed hot gaiwan, there were some nice aromas that started to wake up like cherries. I chose to not rinse the tea per Scott’s recommendation, and I’m glad I didn’t!
1- (10s): Now the wet leaves smell like pomegranite, the roastedness has taken a backseat, I’m glad this has more to it than just roast. In aroma, this reminds of a dancong. Upon tasting, I’m hit with a really thick, rich broth. It reminds me of the richness in hong/black tea but without having any malt or chocolate characteristics. Goes down super smooth. I wish that the fruitiness had made it to the actual liquor but it makes for a nice incense-like aroma in the air.
5-7 (20-30s): This tastes really mineral and nourishing, but not quite as thick as before. Still, goes down super smooth for how rich this is.
8: Well….something went down last night and I left the leaves in the gaiwan for like 20 minutes after pouring boiling water on them. I decided to take a sip and…not bitter or astringent at all. Still rich and dare I say a creamy texture. I decided to leave the leaves overnight and come back to them in the AM
9-12: I’m surprised I’m able to keep steeping this after the 20 minute long steep yesterday. Two things—1)these leaves have a lot to give, though I’m having a hard time picking out individual tastes beyond mineral and a rich texture. 2) I feel safe calling these leaves bomb proof—steep them aggressively if that’s your style, I think you’ll get a lot more out of these doing that!
All in all, bombproof tea, with qualities of a lot of other teas: creaminess like a taiwanese oolong, aroma like a dancong, minerality like a wuyi oolong, richness like a black tea. An interesting hybrid but unfortunately only excels in minerality which is not one of my favorite flavors but I can still appreciate it.
Flavors: Broth, Cherry, Creamy, Mineral, petrichor, Roasted