~15cl of Caledonian Springs @ 100C in 20cl shengpu pot; "normal" amount (~5g); single rinse
Directing your eye to the top photograph for a moment, behold what looks to be a rather pleasant pile of leaves. It's a little "modern Darjeeling", in that there is a fair mixture of dark and green - not a lot of consistency in the oxidation. Almost no compression whatsoever, which is absolutely fine by me. Mushroom aroma - rather decent, in fact, by nose.
10s, 15s, 20s, 30s:
Not a lot of infusions, as you can tell, perhaps indicative of my lack of long-term interest in this tea.
It's a thick yellow, very viscous indeed, with good clarity - a few hairs from the tips may be seen in the soup, for good measure. A long, strong aroma of sticky wood - the freshness of the leaves is apparent in this tea's presence in the wenxiangbei.
It exhibits a curious set of flavours: low and broad, and quite smooth. Not overly interesting, but smooth. There is a decent tang in the finish, with a long-lasting sweetness. Xiaomao detects some smoke, but I cannot.
It's a quiet, non-committal tea, just showing signs of being well-integrated in what it does, without trying too hard.
1-2cm segments, hand-picked. Why chop them? An aging accelerant? I'd rather they were untampered. Consistent with 2-3 years of oxidation.
Smooth, gentle - a fair enough tea for a warm afternoon with a book. It doesn't grab the attention, but putters along aimlessly by my side. Grain, sweetness, gentle straw, and that welcome tang to finish. Friendly, but not inspiring.
It seems that I wrote a haiku while tasting this one the first time around:
my gazeI recall that this refers to the currents of evaporating vapour that were as trapped in the gongdaobei as was my rapt attention on following their slow revolutions.
caught in the gongdaobei -
swirls of steam
Addendum: after transcribing my notes, I found notes on this tea at the ever-excellent TeaLogic. It seems that we're of a like mind: "it's not right, but it's OK".