What a superb Bao Zhong this is! An almost unparalleled complexity of aromas, a well-defined yet balanced profile, and a full body make it one of the best within the category that I had a chance to try.
The dry leaves already have a great depth of aromas with notes of pastries, custard, flowers (lily), and other green plants. The bouquet changes considerably in a preheated gaiwan. There is a strong floral honey-like scent, complemented by steamed spinach and egg yolk. Finally, after the rinse I get mostly notes of freshly cut grass and honey. Later in the session, the aroma reminds me of a mix between Si Ji Chun and Qing Xin varietals.
First infusion tastes tart, buttery and grassy. It has a smooth onset with a hit of umami and flowers, and a slightly bitter finish. The aftertaste is then sweet and very floral. Second steep introduces a very interesting mix of flavours such as green beans, rucola, and orange gooseberry.
The following ones are then progressively more juicy, nutty (hazelnut), sweet (sugarcane), and floral. There is a bit of astringency around steep 3, but nothing that would detract from the overall experience. The aftertaste in the later stages of the session is cooling with a strong custard note and hints of parsley.
One of the things that elevate this tea ahead of its ‘competitors’ is the mouthfeel. It is very mouth-watering and bubbly with a velvety texture initially that gets more oily as the session progresses.
Flavors: Astringent, Berry, Bitter, Butter, Custard, Floral, Flowers, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Green Beans, Hazelnut, Honey, Parsley, Pastries, Plants, Smooth, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Tart, Thick, Umami