Rinse smell is sweet cream and greens, warmly grassy and richly savory. A pulled out a more inner chunk so this will take a little while to open… While the first infusion is pretty thin for this reason, there are the creamy spinach notes that I expect from the 2Late. Things get going on steeping 2 though; this is where the 2Late’s famed textures and mouthfeel come to life. There is the olive-oil, mouth coating viscosity that I crave in a young sheng, and radiant back-of-palette sweetness that’s really noticeable but not at all overpowering.
There is a quality to this tea that I can’t quite place my mind on… Peppercorns, maybe? I believe it’s something in the “spice” family of tasting notes, it’s just that the backdrop of this tea is soooo light and creamy it’s difficult to detect the fleeting moments of bolder flavors. By the fourth steeping though the soup is notably denser, and there is more bitterness with a quality almost like new rubber in taste and texture. The aftertaste is almost… fruit punch, weirdly enough, but this is just another in a long stream of fleeting impressions.
This tea is just really hard to nail down, and refuses to be confined to a set identity. Steeping five, for instance, I find to be less sweetly creamy, with strong grassy and fresh vegetable notes, but with subtle fruity flavors flashing in the background. There is also the sweaty stank (in the best way) that my friends and I associate with Lincang (though Paul doesn’t directly tell us where this tea is exactly from). At steeping six I find this to be mostly about a smooth soup with a very active aftertaste, which is a very very good thing to be mostly about.
If I had to playtime guessing game I could also see this being from Nannuo, actually, in addition to Lincang. The fruitiness really tips me off, and while there is not the tobacco-forward flavors that usually betray Menghai terroir, I have had few really delicate and oily teas from that mountain that fit in this vein as well… Not that there’d be any real point to pinpointing the location of these leaves, the tea is more than enough to just shut up and drink. The final infusions remain oily and sweet, clean, subtle and complex. This is really a very good tea that fits my own preferences rather well.
Thank you all again for reading the ramblings of a tea-drunken madman, and lonely proxy-wanderer of Yunnan’s tea mountains.
Peace be with you,