This tea was picked up on ones journey for less than a box of cheap bagged tea on a supermarket shelf in the west. The foil pack reads, “Prepared by hand and smoked in a bamboo-formed stick, this tea has special lasting fragrance and taste”. Hmmm... Let's find out.
Using scissors to snip the top of the foil pack allows the beauty of this tea to be revealed. If one bought this tea only to sniff its dry leaves, it would be money well spent. Its odour is quite unique for a tea. It smells like none smelt before. These leaves smell like a hickory smoked mountain forest, a bit of mesquite sweetness covered with musk all under a layer of smoke. These dry leaves have that 'Korman forest' scent that one experienced with another sample from the area. They smell somewhat like some of the better smelling 'smoked tea' found in Phongsali's market.
As one peers inside, past exciting odours, one sees dry leaves forming a tangled web of long, thinly rolled leaves that sport a variety of muted greenish colours all the way from the more brown to more green spectrum. There are no small leaves here, all are of the medium to medium large type, almost exclusively unbroken.
On the upside, this tea can be enjoyed without the strong edginess of a young shang. Unlike infant shang puerh, this tea doesn't shake up the guts. Its qi takes a bit of time to kick in, but when it does, it gently alerts gathering more on the sides of ones core than becoming stagnant in the stomach. Although, this chaqi is very light one enjoys its movement in the body.