I had a few people talk me into giving this a try. I am not a big fan of Huang Pian. I always seem to have bad run ins with them; however, tea is tea and I needed to open my mind a bit to let new experiences in. I warmed up my gaiwan as I inspected my little chunks. The brick is heavily compressed with large sticks protruding from the sides. The mass gives off a subtle scent of fresh sweet grass and some hot hay. I lifted my gaiwan and scooped some inside. After a bit or warming, I opened to see what scents I could spot. Immediately, I was hit with heavy wood, buffalo grass, and some dark fruit. I could also hint at a tobacco twang in the background. I washed the leaves and prepared for brewing. The brew can be described as rustic. The tastes are rough yet sweet. A harsh wood persists throughout steeping and a long lasting sweet aftertaste makes its prescience known early on. The small brick chunks took an incredible amount of steeping, stirring, and prodding before they fully opened up. The brew is not complex, and it is nothing super special taste wise. The drink continued in a basic consistent fashion of mild harsh, sweet, woody, and grassy. Then, the qi began to creep up. The qi was a delayed reaction for me. So much so, that I was able to be just about finished drinking until I really felt what this brew was dealing out. The sensation began in the gut and slowly moved up my spine. A nice cooling winded feeling fell over my temples, lungs, and throat. The sensation then expanded to be body encompassing and can be described as “white noise flying”. I could hear a constant slight eeeeeeee, and I felt as though I was lightweight. The feeling lasted for most of the rest of the day. The qi grew into a confusing effect, and at one point I was unsure on exactly what I was doing, so I decided to lay down and rest it off. This was an oddly intensive feeling. This would make a good conversation tea. All and all, don’t drink this for the flavors; drink it for the qi.
Flavors: Grass, Hot Hay, Red Fruits, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood