You have to love the fact that a tea named “Hot & Heavy” arrived just as our bit of the Scandinavian Peninsula experienced its first major snowfall of the year.
Thankfully the package it came in was delivered right to our door by a very nice courier, allowing me to avoid a slushy trudge to the postal pick-up point located at our local hypermarket.
This tea came as a sample with my first purchase from White2Tea.
That small-looking packet had tardis like qualities – it hid a HUGE sample, one that weighed in at nearly 10 grams, one that was ultimately good for 2 sessions that same day, a day when its robust, warming, comforting nature was the perfect antidote to the damp, bitter, miserableness that existed beyond the balcony rail.
In the words of White2Tea “Hot & Heavy” is…
“…a Wuyi Yancha [rock tea] from Fujian province. Processed with a medium-heavy roast that has a heavy soup with a bite of smoke and sweet mineral undercurrent. A workhorse of an oolong that is ideal for seekers of tea with a back bone.”
I gently exhaled on the leaves through my cupped hands to begin the process of waking them up, and was met by the aroma of stone fruits – peach with a hint of plum.
I used about 5 grams in a 150 ml gaiwan, with water just off a rolling boil. After a quick rinse, I started with a 10 second steeping, adding 5 seconds to subsequent infusions.
Right from the first steeping this tea was in the zone – full-bodied with a great honey-roast Oolong taste, and all those fruity notes. The tea also packed a seriously long after-taste.
The tea had a wonderful almost neon sheen to it, discernible even to my colour-blind eyes. Hopefully the photos do it justice.
The Cha Qi hit on the 3rd steeping. You entered a kind of “bullet time” state of mind, where everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, but you were still very much alert and on the ball. It was like experiencing a textbook definition for the term “mindfulness“.
Just as this tea came in with a bang it seemed to leave the building just as fast. There was no tail off or fade out here – after 5 good steepings the tank was empty.
As always when talking about a sample the burning question is “so, would you actually buy the tea?”
Although this is not a tea that would make me instantly log back onto the vendor’s web-site to place an order à la Yu Chi Shan Cha, it’s certainly good enough to stay on the radar. As they say, it’s a good, solid, everyday get-the-job-done Oolong, and one that has more than a fair chance of carving out a niche for itself in our tea cupboard…