Dear glorb, I’ve tried to log this tea twice since drinking it and each time, something has come up. This time I had to take my old meow meow to the emergency vet. Hopefully some fluid injections, antibiotics and anti-nausea meds will remedy her ailments.
The dry leaf had an aroma of bitter apricot and the warmed leaf an addition of a woodsy aroma with a hint of vanilla? Rinsing the leaf brought out scents that better matched the taste of the liquor. I could smell grilled vegetables like summer squash with light smoke, cooked mushrooms, uncured tobacco and that bitter apricot. I can see how Togo interpreted the wet leaf aroma as egg shells, bbq sauce and celery root.
The liquor was a beautiful champagne hue with a tinge of pink. The brew was astringent and bitter (pleasantly so for a bitter puerh lover) with notes of minerals, wisps of smoke, grilled vegetables, earth, cooked mushroom and a carrot sweetness. The texture I found a little thin and it left behind a sandpapery roughness as I swallowed. The tea did not change much in flavor or texture throughout the session. The spent leaf is small and as noted by Togo, still very green. The cha qi moved in quickly on the second steep when I began moving slowly and my eyelids drooped. I was in the midst of packing up my belongings while drinking this and found myself getting sidetracked easily. It was a heavy, cooling, spaced-out energy.
Overall, I found the tea to be pretty pleasant and the light smokiness a nice addition to what is mostly a vegetable-mushroom tasting sheng with good longevity. I think it might continue to be a pleasant offering several years down the road.