I should have reviewed this when the picture was still up. Dang.
Anyway, this tea was a treat. I’m happy that Andrew did not hoard it, but sold it for a little while online. Like him, I initially expected a medium to dark dong ding, but after I read his own notes on it, I knew it would be a little more floral than usual. He also wrote that it would pair well with desserts.
I’ve leaned more toward western so far going by a minute for steep one, and had some great notes in each resteep. It is fairly sweet, but definitely floral and savory. The savory notes are squash like, maybe close to sweet potato, but there just enough sweetness that reminds me of a sugar cookie amidst some subtle roast notes and buttery ones. I’m having a hard time pinning down the florals right now. Chocolate orchid, maybe? I don’t know, I’m at a loss right now. The overall smell is also like finely cooked vegetables, specifically squash right now.
The later steeps do have fluxes. I swear I get a little bit of violet and hyacinth in the florals, though the hyacinth is subtle. Cashew and graham cracker slowly creep in and rises at steep three and four. I’m just using flowery adjectives, so what do I know?
I’m quite impressed with this one. Despite some contrasts in the notes, they combine together in a balanced whole. The tea is very easy to drink, and it might be good for intermediate drinkers, probably good for slightly more experienced drinkers, but not daunting for any new drinker to try. I think a newer drinker might be board if they are looking for bursts of flavor, but might learn the virtue of layers and nuance.
It deserves a hard 90 right now. I might increase it as time goes on because this tea is fairly reliable. I have yet to gong fu it properly, but I think it might be well suited to grandpa style anyway.