Honey, water-lillies, citrus, white grapes, mushroom.
Throughout 8-10 steepings, the liquor stayed a consistent pastel yellow.
Thin, but not watery. Still has enough oomph to coat the mouth, throat, and tongue. Slight bitterness leaves mouth pleasantly dry; sweetness tingles tongue; slight acidity makes the inner-cheeks salivate.
Slight buzz. I wouldn't really call this tea an energizer, but it's definitely not relaxing enough to drink right before bed.**
This is an incredible option for a sweet, mellow, and budget-friendly daily drinker. At $45.00USD/400g, it really can't be beat in terms of leaf-quality. Plus, for a more pesticide-wary audience, Scott had this tea tested for residues at a laboratory certified by the EU Food and Safety Commission. This tea isn't really bursting with complexities, but it's still tasty, refreshing, and enduring. It took awhile, but after the 10th or 11th steeping I began to feel a little more focused; lights became more bright, colors more vibrant--still not enough to call it energizing, but it noticably elevated my heart rate. The color and flavor profile stayed sweet and floral until the tea began to gave up and took on the taste of fresh mushrooms. That said, as advertised, the flavor didn't drop off immediately; the decline was slow and gradual. This tea is a great option to drink leisurely, maybe while watching a show, having a conversation, or getting some computer-work done. One thing that I love about this cake is its compression. Yunnan Sourcing does a wonderful job pressing their house-brand cakes; I've yet to encounter a beeng from them so tightly compressed that, after ice-picking it to death, the leaves are pretty much destroyed by the time they reach your gaiwan or teapot. Also, this tea is available at YS's US-based shop, so you don't have to wait/pay for shipping from China, which makes this tea even more budget-friendly than it already is--and you get loyalty points for buying it, making it a no-brainer. I'd recommend this cake to beginners as a first beeng purchase, and also to intermediates who've never experienced Wu Liang before. For more advanced drinkers, I still recommend this tea to be part of your arsenal, my only hesitation is if you aren't on a super tight budget then I'm certain you could find another YS daily drinker with a bit more to offer for a price increase of ~$15.00USD. However, if you're trying to stay under $50.00USD/357g, then I'd stock up. Tea of this quality at this price is hard to come by.
*Sheng Gut has no affiliation with Yunnan Sourcing; this review was not commissioned. However, the lack of commission was not by choice. I'll write whatever the fuck you want me to. I have no moral compass. I'm waiting for my chance at Wall Street.
**However, I should mention that at around the 7th or 8th steeping a gaping black-and-violet vortex appeared on the western wall of my apartment, just below an unframed poster of The Karate Kid (1984). It swirled menacingly, sucking my throw-pillows, knickknacks, posters, and loose papers (unpaid bills, final eviction notices, wedding invitations, etc.) into its abyssal vacuum. I held on tightly to the upholstered arms of my futon, but was eventually sucked into the vortex face-first. Penetrating its unearthly threshold was unlike anything I've ever experienced. It felt like swan-diving into an olympic-sized pool of tapioca pudding, and though I was flying through the vortex at what felt like warp-speed (I could feel my cheeks peeling-back from my face-bone), I didn't emerge onto the other side for what felt like an eternity. The vortex spit me out in a sort of prehistoric jungle; the trees were thousands of feet tall, the ants were the size of small vehicles, these sort of mutant-pterodactyl-looking birds cluttered the sky. One of them let out a loud scream, like a giant baby's wail, and dive-bombed at me falcon-fast, its razor-sharp talons eager to carry me into heavens. I outstretched my arms and said, "Take me Jesus! Take me to the Promised Land!" Unfortunately, I was swept away at the last second by a fair and humongous-breasted maiden, who told me we were stuck in the mythical land of Slothrop. The maiden and I lived together in a hidden cave-colony for over 50 years, until one day, at a Sun Down Ceremony (the nightly ritual where we participated in an enormous orgy to please the Gods to send us a night of peaceful slumber), I seized, had a massive coronary, shit my pants, and died.