The bag of this tea came in a beautifully hand woven box from Kopnoi which truly gave it a Lao feel. The bag is removed from this interesting encasement and is snipped- revealing the wonderful aroma of malty, sweet coffee and hay. Mmmm...
Water is brought to a boil and then is left to cool before embracing these delicious smelling dry leaves.
The first infusion has a distinct coffee smell and taste with some notes of barley and almond. This tea is very tasty. Any 'greenness' in this tea is completely lost to this initial surge in flavour. It's mouthfeel is a touch juicy.
When infused again, roasted notes poke at the idea of becoming smoky before backpedaling. The roasted coffee profile of this tea almost allows for bitter to only act as a compliment. A bitterness that fits. A good bitterness. A black coffee kind of bitterness. By now it is quite apparent that this tea isn't so green but should actually be classified as a semi-oxidized tea as it fails in all areas to fit the 'green tea' profile in both its liquor colour and taste.
Apparently Lao is at a loss at how to classify tea. Confusingly enough, it seems to refer to all teas as 'green' but then adds descriptors such as 'smoked' and 'golden', and later as you will seen in an upcoming post ' puerh'.
The chaqi of this tea is not so amazing at all but what it lacks in qi it makes up for in flavour. And its flavor holds- this tea has stamina like few others one has ever sampled. In fact you can take this one further than some puerh. Through many infusions this nice, rough dirty, coffee taste hardly budges. It exudes the taste and feel of having a black coffee and smoke first thing in the morning- unrushed and cherished.
Actually, after many, many infusions have passed this tea develops a qi that characterizes some kicky hong cha as it slowly accumulates overtime in the bowels after filling the body with alerting energy.
The chaqi profile, stamina of flavour, and even the look of chopped wet leaves further suggest that this tea went through more than a little oxidization.