Even 4 years old, this tea still has a little bit of a youthful character to it. Nevertheless, the astringency seems to now appear only towards the end of the session and a lot of the floral notes are receding.
The dry leaf aroma is sweet with notes vanilla, cognac, definitely quite distinct from a fresh silver needle. After the rinse, it smells somewhat metallic. There are notes of thistles, dry earth, pumpkin and cape gooseberry.
The last one is prominent in the taste as well, especially in early steeps. One can still clearly detect basic hay and dry grass notes. However, there is also more fruitiness in the mostly sweet and sour flavour profile. Beyond that I get a light woody and spice (black pepper) flavours, as well as some hint of funky acidity. The aftertaste is a little bitter and carries a strong cooling sensation.
Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Bitter, Black Pepper, Brandy, Dry Grass, Earth, Fruity, Hay, Metallic, Pumpkin, Sour, Spicy, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla