Thank you, Tea Ave, for the sample!
Prepared with the gongfu method, using a ceramic gaiwan. Steeping times: 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 120.
I appreciated the aromas more than anything else. The dry aroma smells fruity, very jam-like. These fruit notes are magnified after the first steeping. It was like a giant fruit salad, with an odd combination of grapes, strawberries, apricots and kiwi. Consistently rich aroma. After every infusion, I spent a couple minutes just smelling the leaf from the bowl before drinking the liquor. So delicious! I had somewhat a hard time prying my nose away. The aroma from the aroma cup was next to nothing at first, but the more and the longer I steeped the leaf, the stronger the liquor aroma became: light and honey-light, ending with cinnamon.
The liquor is clear, full-bodied, and flavorful. The first infusion is mildly fruity with a hint of honey. It tastes of high mountain air – buoyant and stimulating. Honey makes an appearance in the second infusion.
Up until the third infusion, the color of the liquor was pale yellow. SUDDENLY – it darkens to amber, a deep honey gold. The honey note becomes a lot richer as well, and the texture much thicker. A little tingly on the tongue. This is the high point of the session.
Afterward, at the fourth infusion, the honey taste lightens, but it taste even richer, as if it upgraded to the best organic honey one could get a hold of. Also at the this point, the liquor aroma smells like the first few days in which the all of the flowers begin to bloom in springtime.
The flavors continue to lighten in the final infusions. Done at this point. Sure feels more like spring now!