A lot of different tea companies are already well underway with releasing their 2019 Spring teas. One of these companies, Bitterleaf Teas, released their line-up around a month ago. And with that release, I opened my mailbox to find a few samples from them! One of those samples is 2019 BOAT (Big Old Ass Tree) — a Hekai sheng puer that came from, well, big old ass trees! So what makes this tea so special? Is it really worthy of being apart of the 2019 line-up? Let's hop into this BOAT and find out
Dimensions — 4.6g of tea for a 70ml shibo (1g per 15ml)
Water Temp. — 190ºf
Number of Steeps — 14h
Price — $110.00 USD per 200g beeng
Music Pairing: While drinking BOAT, I paired this tea with ‘Cuz I Love You’ by Lizzo. I recommend listening to this album[ in full] while drinking BOAT. Bitterleaf Teas provided a complex, brazen, and a tastebud-emotional tea with a lot of heart — which seems to illuminate Lizzo’s latest album. When paired, you’l get in a mood that can only be created when two talents come together…
Steeps 1 — 7
Upon opening the sample bag of this tea, a very noticeable aroma of craisins made itself know. Despite the cranberry-like aroma, the first infusion let off a faint sweet-grass like note on the base of the tongue. After another infusion, BOAT began to pick up a savoriness that coincided along with the grass notes and left an echoing impression of gardenia. After a third steep, a white grape fruitiness also struggled to bring itself forward. However, by the fourth infusion, this tea’s big ass really opened up and its liquor quickly darkened. The faint brothiness quickly took over the tongue’s palate, and almost came off as a brass. This tea’s newly found strength left a bitter impression on the sides of the tongue, but was quickly masked by BOAT’s original sweetness.
Steeps 8 — 14
This big ass tea motor-boated my tastebuds across Lake Fuxian — taking be south towards Menghai. This tea’s body left an imprinting mist in the mouth — a feeling of humidness that seemed to resemble a sauna engulfing the tongue. However, by the tenth infusion, BOAT’s brassy strength began to lighten up as my palate started to sail in the currents of calm water. By the time the twelfth infusion arrived, the sweet notes of grass began to lighten up again, and by the fourteenth and last infusion, this tea docked at the nearest port, awaiting to set sea into the next adventure that would be awaiting it….
2019 Big Old Ass Tree is a new sheng puer released by Bitterleaf Teas and was sourced from Hekai. One aspect about this tea that I enjoyed is the clarity the leaf-juice possessed. Throughout the session, the liquor, along with the notes, seemed to shine through as clear as crystal — which made it easy to dissect this tea’s notes. Another aspect I liked about this tea was its depth. This tea’s notes were more than something that was surface level, and even drinking it a second time, I was still picking up on things I didn’t notice the first time around.
When I open a sample box of tea from a company, I sometimes worry that what the company sends me won’t be as good as they think it is. And that’s difficult sometimes because you want to be able to highlight what makes someone great, not their mediocrity. However, Bittereaf Teas did the opposite made it evident that they were more than capable of making a tasty selection this year. If this is any indication of what more is to come, then I'm confident in saying that 2019 will prove to be an positive year for them. To add, it’s even bigger assed than Nicki and Cardi combined so bitch please, step aside and let me ride this no-filler real-curved BOAT off into the next session….