I am surprised I did not review it earlier. Anyway, this was the recent club batch that I’ve been anticipating. I’ve seen posts on the earlier batches with slightly different names, and the few that have been written always rave about the flavors that come out of the leafhoppers’ bites. Leafhopper of course waxed poetic about the earlier renditions of it, and now that I am tasting this year’s, I can see why. I’ve brewed it western 3 grams and 3 minutes per cup and 6 grams for 5 fluid oz gong fu using my 15-20 second standard with a few mess ups.
Honey is the prominent flavor of this tea and it is incredibly heady and forward no matter my brewing method. The dry leaf smells like honey roasted graham crackers, and the brewed leaf has the honey note bursting with fruits and other florals like papaya in the aroma. The western brews are incredibly unctious, with a vanilla floral leading the way into honey, cinnamon, graham-cracker, rose, apple,and another honey-crystal return. The Gong fu method divided the same notes, albeit sweeter and cleaner with ever present viscousity. Short steeps are bright amber yellow that transition immediately into a sunny orange. The second steep in both methods was also a little nutty, more akin to chestnuts, but fruity like peaches and yellow plums among other stone fruit. I also got some of the woodiness the company describes, but it was kinda like maple. The middle steeps also become a little woodier with the maple followed by noticeable pecan notes with some fruity peach accents in the end. The dryer notes are at the bottom of my tongue in every sip, and the sweeter ones coat the roof of my mouth with honey crystals in taste and texture. One person even described caramel on the blog page for it.
Going further into the tea, it was basically a lighter, sweeter version of the company’s Dong Ding staple. That used to be my fall tea for my cabinet, and I was happy to have a return of it in some form or another. This tea is very flexible and complex despite its honey forwardness. This tea is one of my favorites in my stash right now because of its complexity and fully developed flavor. I practically use it for my desert cravings, though it has kept me up at night a few hours, so I tend to drink it in the mornings and afternoons. It satiates my pallete, but stimulates my appetite, so I keep brewing more and more of it.
I’ll probably write another note because this tea has a great combination of lighter and darker qualities from the roast and the heady honey flavor. I wish I paid better attention while brewing, but it is so good that I just let myself enjoy it without the fuss of isolating every note in precise detail. There were times where I could not tell if my brain registered apple or peach for the obvious fruit tones. I hope that I gave you a decent idea of this sweet viscous baby anyway.