I don’t even know where to start with this one, my first from Tea Urchin. Had this Lao Man E sheng puerh during a lengthy homework session and ended up stopping homework to revel in the beauty of this beast.
This sample came in beautiful thin sheets off the cake. The dry leaf is gorgeous and velvety, shades of beige, grey, brown, auburn, black. Very little broken material. Smells soft, woody and nutty. Warming the leaf brings forward aromas of powdered sugar, tangy fruit, buttery mango. The rinsed leaf aroma is woody, fruity, creamy like frosting, mango butter, apricot preserves. Drank rinse. Color of apple juice, oily, slides around mouth. Sweet like marshmallow? powdered sugar? Very clean.
Softly yet deeply sweet and bitter. Like a swirl, not layers. Hints of milk, slight tartness on sides of tongue and salivary glands. Instant chills like White2Tea’s 2015 Pin but not as electrifying or intense. The hair-raising effect is much softer and rounder, more feminine I guess. Had to put on music, started with “Ooh Child” by the Five Stairsteps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrotsEzgEpg No idea where I went from there but I picked up the dog and sang and danced with her for a long while. Lots of laughing and smiling.
Third steep has some toffee in the mix. Fourth steep WHOA. Fifth, here comes the returning sweetness and deep calm. Liquor is dark red orange now. Sixth steep, watermelon like Tea Urchin mentions. Fruity candy tones. Oversteeped the seventh but still bittersweet, now with sour grapefruit tones. Eighth is vegetal, tart, some astringency that creates rough texture on tongue. Ninth milky and grapefruit sweet-tart but full-bodied that carries through for several more steeps. Ends still oily and thick with a buttery, nutty sweetness.
Spent leaf is amber-green, lots of whole, robust bud and leaf sets with fuzzy undersides. Looks just as good as the dry leaf though I do notice a little char on a few of the leaves.
Ok, I realize my notes are all over the place; sorry if there is confusion but this tea was dynamic and the energy was just incredible. I’ll have to come back to this Lao Man E with a bigger picture review of this tea. I’ll definitely be purchasing a cake of this to age.
Initial rating: 94+