This tea comes from a cutting of Xiao Zhang's ancestral Tongtianxaing mother bush in the protected old tea tree reservation of Da'an, just a few kilometers north of Wudong Mountain. Here, all the trees are Laocong, or old bushes, and the garden is governmentally protected from all excesses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Coming off the dry leaves placed in a warm gaiwan is a berry stew aroma, like when making blueberry compote for tarts. After infusing, the wet leaves show off their vegetal side a little more with notes of licorice and other sweet roots. The brew itself is light and creamy with a lot of sweetness in the brew. While the light roasting makes an appearance in the first half of the session, it is the long lingering second half this tea has to offer that we value. The empty cup aroma of this tea reminds us of creamsavers candies.
This old bush production has the rare virtue of keeping its fragrances in the brew itself. The aromas we smell on the leaves is wonderfully reflected in the brew itself, in fact there are even more nuanced and complex flavors in the liquor than we can pick up in the aroma alone. If pushed, this tea can become thicker and stronger without falling off a bitter cliff. This is a tea we are loath to part with, so set aside a good bit of time for the tea session, as this tea has endurance and the brews get sweeter and sweeter the more patient you are with the later infusions.