2006 YQH Chawangshu
6.1g/80ml gaiwan [8.6]
Extreme longevity (25+steeps), excellent pungent floral aroma, and a remarkable ability to induce euphoria, completely unrelated to heating or lethargy.
Yesterday I had the Last Thoughts 2015/2016 comparison tasting and it is remarkable how similar that tea is to this one in certain ways, especially in the style of the aroma. Of course LT lacks the YQH house aroma but the pungent flowery aroma is very similar.
The YQH house aroma and to some extent the flavour is very well-represented here, I hope it wasn’t just because this was freshly broken off the cake. I get a lot of Turkish dried fig and fresh walnuts. There’s also leather/old furniture/wood as well as camphor and mint. Also quite a strong resemblance to Crest Original toothpaste.
Right from the wash, which is clear orange/copper, we get some salivation, pungent floral aroma, mint and camphor, and a mild huigan all around mouth.
- (5s) Some bitterness, amazing honey-floral aroma. Some salivation
- (5s) Low thickness at this point but very strong flavour right to back of throat. Can feel a small amount of heat generated below chest and some relaxation but very mild.
- (5s cooler water) Remarkable blooming aroma, some cooling/mint on arrival, juicy huigan. Pungent aftertaste filling mouth and head, sweet coating on mouth but it dissipates after 120s. Ripe red fruits, possibly the small red plums. Not tropical.
- Huge blooming huigans, fresh fruits, Wet leaf has a minty camphor aspect.
- Some tannins show up now, small, but most amazing is a feeling of euphoria which rises up to my head. I start smiling and can’t stop for a few minutes. Warming is there but very low in comparison with e.g. W2T Last Thoughts.
- Euphoria coupled with a continued aroma and taste. The euphoria lasts about 4-5 minutes but it does dissipate and then returns on the next steeping.
- Unmistakable “waves of pleasure” effect moving vertically in the body.
- This continues till steep 15, when it quiets down but retains a sweet but active feeling in the mouth, with low-level tannins and sweetness continuing till steep 20.
The leaf material looks very good – large leaves with thick midribs and stems. The major lesson I learned with this session is the distinction between heating (some) lethargy (none) and euphoria (!)