Remember consuming the 2011 release of this same tea last year at this same time. Autumn harmonizes nicely with Korean balhyocha (Yellow tea) so naturally it feels right during this season. Last year there was an interesting discussion in the comment section on the amount of time Korean producers age their balhyocha before it is released to the public and how this can influence quality of the tea. Currently, this "1000 Day Aged" balhyocha is aged longer than any other commercially available balhyocha. Interestingly, "Chun Go Hyang" consistently delivers a more substantial mouthfeel than most balhyocha and an array of autumnal juicy, fruit flavours. When Jukro used to age their balhyocha for three years (pre-2011) the mouthfeel was also slightly more full. Could it be the aging or something else??? ? Sam of Good Green Tea now carries this unique balhyocha for those who are interested.
Let's boil the water up on this cold Autumn day and enjoy some tea...
The dry leaves contain in them distinct, deep, sweet bread notes with spicy cinnamon and cloves. There is a slight foresty-wood base that also come off from the deep-grey-greenish-toned leaves. These leaves are added to the warm pot, the warmth of the water resting in the cool water bowl warms the hands on this cool fall day.
The first infusion has distinct sweet, bready-plum-apricot subtleties in the initial taste which develop a spicy, tanginess as it proceeds into aftertaste. The mouthfeel paints a full but soft coat over the tongue, mouth, and upper throat. The qi is slightly warming and soothing for the stomach.
The second infusion is juicy, sweet with a deep bread initial taste which fades into distinct sweet fruits of baked apple and spicy persimmon, distant walnut. The mouthfeel really coats the mouth in this soft coating that makes the lips stick to the teeth.
In the third infusion a more juicy-smooth initial taste with bread notes now mingle more with the juicy-spicy-fruity tastes that stretch into the aftertaste. The fruit flavours are more pronounced in this infusion. A papaya aftertaste is left on the breath minutes later.
The fourth infusion is even more juicy now with fruits filling the initial taste then slowly fading to muted spices and interesting bread-wood tastes. These tastes stretch onto the breath.
In the fifth and sixth infusions a smooth, almost creamy, tangy wood initial taste appears. It then fades into a dry wood with fruity-sweet notes slowly popping up. The mouthfeel offers a nice soft gripping sensation in the mid-throat, and is a touch drier in the mouth. There is a faint woody finish left on the breath.
In the seventh infusion smooth, creamy-woody-bread taste has light edges of sweet fruit, maybe persimmon. The aftertaste lingers in the upper throat and mouth and faintly suggests fruits. The eighth infusion is much the same but noticeably more tangy and woody.
The tea is put to an overnight infusion and delivers tangy, deep, woody and prune tastes.