2016 W2T Into the Mystic
Pungent dry leaf, large chunk in original sample bag. First steep has a strange orange-green appearance. Quite sweet, and with a very nice sweet resin afteraroma. The arrival does not have the aspect of a young sheng. It’s quite soft and sweet, more oxidized, not quite at black tea levels but going in an oolong direction. The empty cup aroma is sweet rich resin.
Second steep looks better, fuller colour, more yellow-orange ish. Definitely does not have the aggressive young sheng aspect. More of an autumn aspect, or a slightly more oxidized aspect. Sweet, combining very well with the resin aroma, good residual effect on the mouth and throat. Has some astringency. Reminds me of a slightly weaker, less resinous version of the Mahei 2014 Autumn that I have from BYH.
The wet leaf is quite browned. Seems to have quite a blend, with very small leaves and larger leaves, all pretty much whole. Quite a lot of reddish leaves. Thick texture now. The astringency and the sweetness come together well to give a quite luxurious broth. Very good lingering sweetness. Very warming. Strongly warming. Moreish.
Test steep for a good 1.5 minutes. Thick and dark yellow-orange. The liquor has good clarity. Not cloudy. Good taste, sweet, resin, highly warming, only mildly bitter. It has a bit of aggressiveness, especially astringency. The bitterness is still quite tame.
This tea is very sweet with very low bitterness for a 2016 production, making it unusually easy to drink right now. It seems to be more oxidized than usual young sheng would be, but without being too much towards white or black tea. Mostly the energy is warming, although I do notice being a bit spaced out, so the activity seems to be like what I get from the 2014 Autumn Mahei from BYH, but with less pungency and less dissociative. Besides that tea, it also reminds me of some of the tamer Mengku in terms of the taste profile, there is a sweet minty aspect which I recall from the early 2000s Mengku (not the YYX). It’s not among my favourites from W2T but I think it is enjoyable, sweet, with good mouthfeel and quite warming.
After completing this review, I looked at my earlier review of this. It is crazy how quickly this tea has aged. The grassiness is gone, the greenness is gone, and the liquor is much darker than it was. It is warming just as it was before, and still has some of the astringency I experienced before, and the thickness and sweetness is as before. Interestingly the pungent aroma is something it has developed, I didn’t notice it before. The tea seems to be on a very quick trajectory.