2010 Essence of Tea Mansai
Wanting to finish the run of Essence of Tea samples in the current sheng pu’er OTTI before I depart on vacation next week, I settled into the final one, Mansai, this morning. I’ll take a look at the two Mandarin’s Tea Room samples when I return.
These leaves edged smaller, with more variety in color, but the same healthy sheen. Unlike the Manmai, the aroma wasn’t a bellowing tropical fruit, but instead a mellow, more typical dry sheng smell. Rinsing the leaves, classic woodsy characters emerged: damp moss, birch bark, and distant cedar shavings. The color of the soup was an opaline scallop-color, speckled with bud fur.
Despite the pale moon-colored soup, this tea had a great thick, gloopy texture early on. I found the overal flavor profile fleeting: light-colored uncooked mushrooms, maple wood, and cotton candy. In the gaiwan, the leaves looked larger, darker green, and more mature than the last two Essence of Tea samples, giving me pause that older leaves may have less immediate potency to them.
The middle and later steeps got a touch soapy and thinly astringent for me. And, despite what I consider to be another light tea, this had less quick bitterness, and a better texture and structure than both the Manmai and the Bangwai, hinting at a potentially bright future for this tea.
The Half-Dipper – 2010 Essence of Tea “Mansai”
The Sip Tip – Essence of Tea 2010 Mansai