Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

86

Thank you David Duckler!! This was a generous sample added to a purchase I made for a sheng cake David found for me on his last sourcing trip to China. I was not expecting any samples or a note since I didn’t actually buy from Verdant Tea. As it turns out, I received both! What a nice guy, that David Duckler.

Anywho, I was excited to try this pleasant surprise. I was not disappointed! This is a very clean sheng. Almost no earthiness, no musty or musky smells, very nice, delicate leaves. I was actually able to see the fuzzy, downy hairs that are quite apparent on the wet leaves, and the dry leaves are abundant with silvery down. There is a huge range of colors, though. They range from a faded yellow to a dark brown-purple. Nearly every leaf has patches of bruising, making them look more like the leaves of an oolong. Some empty stems were present, but nothing abnormal.

When dry, the leaves smell amazing. Definitely one of my favorite dry leaf aromas so far. It’s something like vanilla, cream, and smelling the skin of a ripe fruit. When wet, this transforms into Raisinets, vanilla, florals, and tart berries. Later on, the aroma becomes darker and heavier, with some earthy notes.

The liquor is a beautiful golden amber. In addition to the scents mentioned above, there is this very slight fresh cucumber smell that appears in the eighth or ninth steep. The flavor is pretty light and mellow. Very minimal cha qi to this sheng. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and creamy throughout most steeps, becoming sparkling much later on. There is a very delicate bittersweet huigan, but it isn’t very lasting. It’s most apparent in the first few steeps, along with a tingling spiciness. But again, this tea isn’t very energetic. These “lively” textural features fade off during the middle steeps and return (barely) into the final steeps (around the tenth). I used between 3.5 and 4 grams in my gaiwan, but I think next time I’ll do closer to five. I started out with 13 seconds for the first steep and still received a pretty mild flavor.

There are some very interesting flavors in this sheng. Most notable are the florals and fruity notes. At first they aren’t too noticeable, but they climb in intensity and remain strong from steep 4 on to the end. The fruit notes started somewhat berry-like, and gradually became more plum-like (there is even a hint of melon in the final steeps). These fruity flavors blend well with a strong, lingering sweetness on top of every steep. However, to balance this sweetness, a nice tartness is present, coming through as a grapefruit/citrus flavor. It seems to be taking aging quite well. There isn’t a very strong youthful taste to this one, but then again, I can’t really taste that “aged” quality either.

So, this sheng isn’t as stimulating as I was expecting, but it has great flavor. Oh yeah, another thing I noticed was that the aftertaste didn’t linger much. The flavor evolves slowly, but then just seems to evaporate once the sip was over. Around steeps 4 and 5, this improves a bit, the body becoming more full with increased depth, but still, on average, a very light tea.

Two posts in one! What a deal!
I decided to try this one again before I made a post with a different gong fu method for young sheng pu’ers that I saw online involving a great deal of pouring into multiple vessels to cool water during the infusion: . It seems similar to traditional Chinese glass methods used for green teas. It sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a try with this sheng, since it is relatively young, with more dry leaf than used for the above notes.

It turned out quite well! I was surprised by large difference in the level of depth and complexity. It was much sweeter also. However, I’m not sure whether it was more or less bitter. It t seemed like it was more bitter than the first time, but I’m betting that it’s because I used a higher leaf to water ratio and the extra contact with the water just resulted in natural bitterness from the extra steeping time. Yet, the steep times were far shorter than the first tasting I did (only 3-4 seconds compared to the 13 seconds for the first steep). At any rate, it is a pleasant bitterness, not overpowering, and doesn’t subtract from the actual flavors. However, the sensation of huigan and extra creaminess of the liquor was definitely noticeable. The aftertaste was much sweeter with an added melon-like flavor and left the mouth feeling cool like after eating a mint candy, but without the minty flavor. It’s also a bit more stimulating.

I’m always learning :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Bonnie

Your extensive notes were very entertaining and interesting! Glad you tried the other method and made comments for comparison. I’ll have to try this sometime myself.

Cody

Thanks! And you should try it. It really seems to smooth out some of the rough edges of younger stuff. I tried it again with a 2009 sheng and received decent results.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

Bonnie

Your extensive notes were very entertaining and interesting! Glad you tried the other method and made comments for comparison. I’ll have to try this sometime myself.

Cody

Thanks! And you should try it. It really seems to smooth out some of the rough edges of younger stuff. I tried it again with a 2009 sheng and received decent results.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Teaware
Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.

Location

Fort Myers, Florida

Following These People