As I turned another year just the other day, I had decided a couple of weeks earlier that I would celebrate the day with a tea of similar… um, shall we say, vintage. I suppose this may sound silly, but it seemed a good idea.
As you can see from the photo, the 20g arrived beautifully presented.
Upon opening the bag, the aroma of dry sugared rose buds muddled with earthy roots and faint talc filled the nose. The dry leaf chosen was a decent, and perfectly sized, sheered off chunk composed of flattened twisted leaves and odd scattered stems.
Once wet, the fragrance intensified to a mass of tangled roots winding in rich black earth. It all but buried the rose fragrance that had been previously noted.
The first proper steeping filled the mouth with soft notes of ginseng roots and damp earth. The rose while present in taste from the second steep, was more pronounced in the sinus cavity. The roots continued to flourish across successive steeps, becoming sweeter and increasingly tangling around the tongue.
The throat feeling was full and warm, with a sporadic slight catching halfway.
This Jiang Chen possessed a rather penetrating qi. Within three steeps my body became profoundly warm, most notably at the abdomen which had become engulfed with heat. My palms became slicked with sweat. My body became calm. By the latter quarter of the session, I even noticed a heaviness set on my brow.
It proved a fantastic session with a tea that has since found me wanting for another exchange.