Another winner from a picky drinker!!Review by Hannah
I am usually very choosy with my Teas, and tried this on suggestion from another fellow tea friend.
Never before have I been so happy I took someone's advice on a new tea!!
Gorgeous aroma and mouthfeel and a lingering after-taste fit for the divine!
It was very hard to pick a favourite between this and it's 2012 spring counterpart, both are so complex and beautiful in their own way! Definitely try both for vertical tastings, you'll be glad you did!!
I would write more but I would rather go back to my gaiwan for some more of this awesome brew! :)
(Posted on 12/24/12)
superlative teaReview by ericbenoit
full review here:
While I had remembered from my first experience with this tea that I thought it was exceptional, this was a considerably more profound exchange with the notable lack of discomfort. I felt as if the tea and I had become one at multiple points. I found myself not wanting to part with the experience, and was reluctant to do so even when the leaves had finally given up their last bit of energy.
The perceived purity of the leaf from the cake is one of its most remarkable traits. While the slightest note of smoke may have whispered among the fresh green in the dry nose, it all but vanished with the preliminary flash rinsing, leaving only the faintest note of oak lingering in the second and third cups.
The tea exhibited a strong characteristic of sweet grass during the first third of the session. This was delicately streaked with a trace of youthful ku wei which actively engaged the tip of the tongue and the sinus cavity. Throughout each subsequent steeping the flavor profile expanded with a powerful series of minor and major notes, dwarfing what may have initially suggested humble simplicity. The symphony moved in a circular motion throughout the mouth, from the tip of the tongue up across the hard and soft palates and down before flooding forward.
I made particular note of a detected ‘thickening’ in the throat beginning around the 6th or 7th steeping.
With this tea I also found myself taken by the density of its liquor. The leaves sang within the pot as they thickened and exhaled with each addition of heated water. Tiny beads would ping outward from the entry point of the pour just below the surface of the liquid to the rim of the cha hai. The broth would then thread as it was poured into the cup forming foam clusters in the center of the soup, while short pearl-like links strung along the edges. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
The consuming movement of its cha qi became wholly calming, and well, just a bit more. I had become surprisingly intoxicated to the point of near sedation around the 8th steeping. My eyelids were heavy. My limbs felt light. The palms of my hands were damp. My thoughts concentrated. They did, however, become increasingly softened and blurred around the edges as my time with the tea came to a close.
This tea remained decidedly thick and substantial throughout the session in excess of the above brief details, even after the exhausted leaves had rendered a nearly transparent broth.
Did I enjoy this tea? Most assuredly, yes. I can’t say that I have attached myself to many teas in the way that I have this one. While I am more than aware that some of this feeling may have developed out of the lack of the negative effect of the health issue after a period of it being present, I choose to never underestimate the powerful effect of an excellent tea. This Gua Feng Zhai left me contented and wanting to share this experience with others. I ask; how can that not be the greatest outcome of any moment with a tea? (Posted on 5/8/12)