We have a dilemma, albeit a small one. Norbu teas has this stuff listed under green, oolong, and
pu-erh, so classifying it may be a little bit difficult. So to save ourselves any argument, I'm just
going to call it 'tea'.
It is written in the tea description that this tea comes from plantation bushes, which is fine, given the wholeness of the leaf. The dark purple color is interesting, and the aroma hints at dark fruits simliar to plums or black cherries, along with a generic sweetness.
3.5 grams in a 100 ml gaiwan.
Rinse at 8s. Infusions: 20s, 12s, 12s, 15s, 45s, 1m 15s, 2m.
The first infusion had a thick body, smooth mouthfeel, and leathery, plummy flavors. The sweetness
present was very dark, in a sense. Think of it as opposed to bright sugariness, and that's what you'll
have. The aftertaste hinted at grain, but faded quickly. Overall, a simple yet enjoyable first cup.
It's apparent to me now that the first cup was simply playing nice with me. The second and third cups
of tea were stronger, showing much more depth and complexity, along with some bitterness. The flavors
dominating this cup were dark fruit skins and mild, yet dark herbs. The color of the tea liquor was
interesting as well, being a consistent yellow-brown throughout the session. The mouthfeel was quite rough.
Cups four and five changed a good deal. The liquor had completely lost it's aroma, and the complexity was
replaced with simplicity (which is ok). The tea now had flavors of a mild sweetness and bitterness, and
the mouthfeel had become rougher than before. There was a minute, fleeting herbal flavor as well.
Cups six and seven were simple: mushrooms and bitterness.
Overall this tea was just okay. Given that it seems to be more like a pu-erh than any other tea, I personally believe that age would improve this tea. Remember, trying this tea or any new tea is worth the experience.