I have the SPRING 2019 version of this tea.
SUMMARY: This is an interesting tea. The flavors are fairly subtle, balanced, and not one note seems to stand out, but it has a lot of texture and cha qi. In fact, it’s a bit hard for me to discern any one given flavor of the tea although there’s a lot of flavor notes in the aroma.
When I brewed this a little hotter / longer, the tea is all about the texture. I could feel the astringency on the tongue, roof of the mouth, on the lips, with a puckering sensation. In conjunction with the astringency, the cha qi on this tea is fairly strong. In the second infusion, there was a tingling in my eyes, from the top of my head to the back, and on the lips…like when I have a really good tai chi session.
Brew times (time / temp F) : 10s/202F, 30/199, 40/195, 50/205, 60/199, 120/200, 5min/200
Wet leaf: The wet Leaf aroma changes slightly with each step. But in general:
The high notes include stewed tomatoes, cooked veggies (maybe squash?) — this turns to a sweet, fruity scent in later infusions. The low notes initially smell of marinara sauce with the tomatoes & herbs, mild roast, then turns into roasted veggies, nuts
The liquid aroma is somewhat sweet, like honey/marzipan with a slightly almond, nutty aftertaste.
The tea broth has an interesting texture primarily due to the astringency factor in the tea. It feels very viscous on the tongue but drinks smoothly.
Even though there’s a strong astringency in this tea, there’s no bitterness. I pushed the times without any bitter tasting tea. I think this would work for Grandpa brewing style