If you’ve been around me lately, you’ve probably heard me going on about this 2003 Hong Kong Dry Stored Iron Cake like it’s made out of gold. Now is the time for me to bring you up to speed on exactly why. I’m going to walk you through the first 15 steeps of this bad boy because there’s just no way to be succinct about it. It is also, coincidentally, the tea that @liquidproust
is selling in little crocks right now, so if you want a taste for yourself I would suggest hitting him up. This tea is a journey! Holy wow! Also, the Qi on this tea got me properly drunk by steep 5, so please excuse the hyperbole.
This sample was originally pressed in a bing. It is made up if small leaves and buds primarily of dusty deep brown and gold throughout. The dry leaves do not have much of a scent beyond very subtle earth.
After the wash, the wet leaves are still mostly contiguous. They carry the scents of moist hay, pipe tobacco smoke, and cedar wood.
The first steep yields a clear liquor of red gold and an aroma of fresh alfalfa sprouts. The taste is woody, reminding me of the scent of an active wood shop, and slightly sweet with a creamy finish that turns to apricot on exhale.
The liquor darkens slightly with the second steep, tipping from honey gold towards red-orange. The woody note turns smokey like the aroma of burning Palo Santo, and a slightly numbing mouthfeel becomes apparent at the back of the pallet.
The slightest bitterness is added on the third steep. Vegetal alfalfa sprout flavors precede the aromatic wood. The creamy finish has all but disappeared, but the apricot remains.
The hue stays consistent on the fourth steep. The woody flavor morphs again into sweet tobacco smoke which dominates the pallet, leaving little room for much else. The slightly numbing mouthfeel persists. (More in comments)