Today, it will be about two teas made by Eugene - the Tea Urchin - from Yibang leaves. Even though Yibang is near Yiwu and it seems to me that some Yibangs age similarly to Yiwu teas (at least in some aspects), these two nurselings show how different may Yibang tea be.
The aroma of dry leaves is quite young, floral and a bit metallic, reminding me of "light top of Yiwu taste". The wet leaves smell pleaantly sweet, leathery, dark floral, generally sharper than young teas from Yiwu.
The taste goes into rather good, dark sweet tones which I am surprised to find in a tea this young (e.g., "will-be-honey"). There is a sort of dark floralness and rather light fruitiness (watermelon, maybe pineapple). After a short while, the taste takes turn to sugercane aftertaste.
The bitterness is medium (can be fine tuned, of course), but I was surprised by the rather high astringency. It is not a particularly unpleasant one, but a strong one nevertheless.
For me, it is rare to find qi in a young tea and this one is no exception.
While I enjoyed this tea, it is rather simple and we have to wait to see how it ages (by the way, it comes from a mix of varietals, therefore there is no reason to worry about its aging a priori).
A brief comment to start with - the liquor of 2013 leaves looked, in reality, basically the same as the one of 2012 tea - the orangeness here is due to overall darker photo and more time spent oxidizing. Both teas are clean yellow when steeped and they get light orange with time.
The dry leaves again smell light, green and sugary, but the wet leaves also have darker components of heavier fruity base and sugercane. Again, there is a light metallic aroma (also in the aroma of liquor), which is not as strong as to make the aroma unpleasant though.
In mouth, the tea is thick, light and fluffy - actually, too much so for me. It may be thick and coating, but I do not find it interesting at all; it tastes more like a component for blending. The little tastes to be found are of watermelon and some sort of flowers.
As steepings go, mushrooms appear in the aroma of wet leaves and even later, in taste too. While I do enjoy mushrooms on their own, I am not particularly enamored of them in tea.
Not much activity, nor qi for me... Only a kick of bitterness.
For drinking now, I certainly enjoyed the 2012 version more.