tl;dr: A thin, but easy to drink tea. Wet→Dry wood with hints of grain as you steep longer. Opens up quickly and brews cleanly, no fermentation tastes. 3.5/5
5g, 75ml porcelain gaiwan.
Smell: Spicy (as in cinnamon), mostly wet wood, hints of something I can’t place. Plum?
98C, 10s: Good “seal” on gaiwan lid. Scent was same as after rinse. The liquor is an average, ripe brown-red color. Maybe, more yellow than usual. Flavor is thin, with medium huigan, but a pleasant, lasting aroma in the nose after drinking. Very easy to drink.
98C, flash: Leaves opened up quickly, but I used small chunks of cake. Color more rich and dark, flavor is same but aroma that follows sipping is more full.
98C, 10s: liquor is now rich brown, with more “fast” huigan and some notes of more dry wood.
98C, 20s: Some light grain notes I don’t recognize. Still full flavor.
98C, 30s: .. 98C, 30s: Now the taste has finally mellowed out.
98C, 1m30s: Liquor much brighter/redder. 98C, inf s: .. 98C, inf s: .. 98C, inf s: becoming bronze colored, 98C, inf s: flavor dissipating.. 98C, inf s: … could probably squeeze out a bit more, but the flavor is thinning enough that I’m done for sure.
Qi of the tea is mild, I would say cooling and calming…maybe mildly disorienting even.
The tea is mildly “absorbent”. As in, during brewing, it creates a strong enough vacuum inside the gaiwan to cause the lid to feel slightly “stuck” when you lift it up. Historically, I’ve found the absorbency of a ripe pu’er correlates with the strength of it’s qi and how much I like the tea reasonably well. On a scale from not absorbent (0) to “can pick up the gaiwan with the lid due to the strength of the vacuum created” (5), this tea is a 1.5/5.
If anyone knows the name for this phenomena, I’d love to hear it!
Final impressions are: for the price, a great tea to brew while sitting around during the day. Not gonna knock off your socks, but for $25 a cake I’d stock this around for poor weather. Taste was rather thin but clean, would probably pass the “mom test”.