As the AAMAS conference was "wonderfully" scheduled right into our exam time, I have to study for exams already, which, together with preparing new topics for my students, means less time for tea. However, I wanted to try this tea for some time and wanted to try it before the exams (if I die when attempting to pass the Applications of neural networks, I will at least die as a happy man).
When I bought some gold medalist Mi Lan Dan Cong from Teahabitat three or four years ago, I thought that tea does not get more expensive than that. Actually, it does. Alas, I can not use my favourite self-justifying parallel to the cost of wine, as with the Qing Bing, we are on the level of a rather good wine (at least for me).
As I had a free afternoon, I decided to go for water from tea stove:
Some images of dry leaves:
The leaves feel dry, having aged and plummy aroma.
Wet leaves smell beautifully. Their aroma is rich, thick and sweet ("challengingly sweet" I think, although I am afraid it does not make much sense), but very clean and fresh (among aged teas). It is so pure and clean that I feel that smelling the wet leaves cleanses my head.
Although taste may not be the most important aspect of aged tea, I found this tea to have an excellent taste actually. It is, similarly to the color of the liquor, exceptionally clean and non-powdery (I do not like powdery feeling in tea too much). Although there is the distinct "aged" taste with wood (a sweet one, like a wood dipped in caramel), there is more - plums, vanilla, some sort of dark fruitiness and when the tea left my mouth, I felt something similar to nice whisky taste. There is a bit of bitter bite to the end of the taste, but nothing unpleasant. Actually, it transforms quite nicely into what I would describe as fresh plums - one is used to older plums/treacle in tea, but I have never met the taste of fresh plums... A most pleasant encounter I have to say! It contributes to overall rather fresh and nice feeling of the tea.
When I swallow the tea, it feels like hundred small spiders run around my mouth, weaving a silky web which stays and fixates the oral cavity for quite some time. The aftertaste (with a bit of fresh plums) stays for a long time.
The tea has beatiful, clean energy. First, it calmed me and then made my chest and head vibrate. It was an excellent opportunity to think and to have a walk through the world as a part of it (it's like when one stands in the wind and then becomes part of the wind - flying with it to unexplored places). I really do not care much if the tea is narcotic or there really is world's energy flowing through everything and I can spot it when drinking some teas, but the feeling is so refreshing and pleasant that I want to experience it again, be it a reality or "behind-reality".
I think it is quite obvious by now that I enjoyed this tea a lot. I did - the tea is clean, rich, feels great in mouth and has a very nice energy. The experience with this tea has cleaned my body and mind and I feel rested as after long sleep. Purrrfect. I liked it even more than the 1980s 8653 Xiaguan (dry stored).
Even the wet leaves are nice (compared to other aged teas I've had), they don't break when rubbed:
Further reading: Cloud