Out With the New, In With the Old...Arbor (Naka)
The United States presidential election is finally over and we can finally move on with our lives (hopefully). This reality TV series has been running for eighteen straight months and now we can focus on other global issues, such as trying to decide which tea to drink the next morning. There’s just so many to chose from that sometimes it feels like I'm picking at random. However, I decided to drink NaKa by Pu-Erh.Sk on purpose. I kept reading many great things about teas that come from NaKa, primarily from Pu-Erh.Sk and other sites. Since I like jumping on hype trains, I bought myself a ticket to a one way ride to blissfulness. All aboard!
I opened my package of tea and was happy to see how clean this tea was. When I weighed out 6.6 of tea for my upcoming session, I was also surprised to find that the leaf from this tea was relatively dense, and was heavy for a tea leaf. I held multiple single leafs in my hand, an honestly, was completely taken back by how heavy they were. Another great attribute of this tea was the fact that it smelled of stone fruits. Hell, I was getting excited and ready to dive right in!
Steeps 1 - 4
My session started out with a quick rinse, which I typically do to wash away any impurities that could be making a home on the tea. I went on two make my first infusion of this tea, and first picked up on a thick oily base. The texture amazed me because for a tea to be this young, it showed great strength. After a few more steeps, this tea’s power instantly hit the forefront of my tongue with a bees wax like texture. To add, there was a light undertone of sweetness, but nearly unnoticeable due to the persisting bitterness.
Steeps 5 - 9
The fifth infusion promptly hauled ass with its incredible power. The bitterness was overshadowed by the intense spiciness that intertwined in it’s oily and waxy texture. The spiciness held tones of rosemary and sage, and seemed to cover the tongue like a tightly woven blanket. There was a long lasting aftertaste that progressively got warmer with a luminous bitter.
Steeps 10 - 14
NaKa’s power started to relax a bit around the tenth steep, and it’s bitterness progressively transformed into more of a an astringent mouth feel. The spiciness started to tighten up around the eleventh steep as this tea continued to mellow out. Even though these later steeps were mellowing out, the base of this liquor was still able to lubricate every square inch of my mouth. By this point though, I was already experiencing mild body feels as this tea’s energy was making it s way through my system. At steep fourteen, when this tea reached it’s drop off point, I quit taking notes as I tried to reach the end of the tracks of the NaKa trai
To start with, Pu-Erh.Sk mentions NaKa had a fruitiness to it. While I experienced many great tasting notes on this tea, I fail to report any fruity tasting notes. It probably has something to do with how young this tea is and definitely needs more resting time from pressing. Speaking of how young this tea is, I was floored by how strong this tea was. Most sheng puer needs months to show strength at this level, and yet this one seemed to be up front with it! It was an excellent surprise that I was not expecting. Another thing I wasn’t expecting was the fact that this tea was as powerful as it was, and it had me pretty buzzed by the time I had completed my session with it.
Overall I think that NaKa is an exceptional tea, especially for the price. Being sourced from older tea trees, you truly get what you pay for with this sheng. Although I was expecting this tea to be a lot sweeter and fruity, it was bounteous in all of the right places. However, since this tea is so new and is so strong, it would be wasted on new-to-mid experienced tea drinkers. I say this because NaKa is so rich that many newer tea drinkers would only find this tea bitter. In the end, I can clearly see why so many people have praised NaKa and I can’t wait to see it grow in popularity…
Rating - 9.6