It’s a relief to move away from bagged teas finally and back into the puerh realm. I have a sample of 2017 Impression from the benevolent Togo. Thanks, Togo :)
The dry leaf on this is very impressive, shimmering and velvety in the light. It reminds me of a rock covered in lichen, twigs and dirt. It smells like mineral soil and stonefruit. Warming the leaf brings out a date sweetness with the stonefruit and soil. After the rinse, I can smell artichoke, dates, baked apricot and soil.
The first pour is a clear gold with a soft and fruity aroma. It’s dominated by a clean vegetal tone and finishes with peach and apricot. The aftertaste is of apricot and faint pine. Moving along, some bitterness comes in but it is smooth and not penetrating, complementary to the tastes. The texture remains light in the mouth but never lacking. The liquor transitions into tastes of a pleasant leafy and dry grass brassiness, which to me is evidence of autumn material, and the stonefruit finish turns into faint florals. Astringency picks up in the seventh steep and I ended at the ninth, feeling the tea had not much more to offer. The energy is light and calming.
2017 Impression is drinkable now and caused no stomach discomfort. Based on the initial review by Oolong Owl, the bitterness is already taming, or maybe I’m less sensitive to bitter. It seems to be suitable for daily drinking given its smoothness, longevity and energy.
Edit: Am I crazy for thinking this is drinkable now? HA!