89

So excited to try this!! My first sheng puerh!

Parchment-like aroma. Tree bark and limestone. Slight cereally background.
MIneral-rich taste. Flavor reminiscent of a rainforest—all lush greenery rooted in rich soil. Paradoxically, though, it also tastes delicate and dry. I’m reminded of beautiful, papery moth wings.

Very interesting. I like it. I admire it’s complexity.

But, the aforementioned “creaminess” eludes me, right now.

It seems that my lazy, quick, western-style brewing has done this tea a disservice! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

Your first sheng- how exciting! You’re definitely starting at the very top here. I remember my very first sheng.. it was like sucking on a penny and an extreme lemon-flavored drying warhead at the same time- very bitter and hard to swallow. Wish I’d started with something like this!

As for “western-style brewing”? You’re right- a big teapot single steeping won’t give you all that this tea can offer. But don’t worry; you don’t need to run out and buy gaiwans or yixing clay teapots. If you can find a brewing basket Isomething like this: http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/finum-tea-brewing-basket.html), you’ll be able to conveniently recreate the gong-fu experience.
Just fill the brew basket with 3 or 4 grams of tea (1/3 or half way with leaves..about as much as you’d do for a big pot), and then set the brew basket in a personal-sized mug.
Pour in boiling water for a few seconds, take out the brew basket (you can set it on it’s cap!), and throw out this first steeping. It’s a wash to “wake up” the leaves, and it’s also like a little sacrifice for the sake of greater deliciousness.
Replace the brew basket, pour in boiling water, wait a few more seconds (5-10ish), and pull out the basket. Drink and enjoy in small sips, smacking your lips! The extra air will help you to savor more of the flavor. Plus, making the “yummy” sounds always makes things more yummy.
Continue re-steeping like this, adding 5 or so seconds each time you do it. Steep and drink until you just can’t have any more liquid! Feel free to adjust steep times, too. If it’s seeming too light, leave the basket in a few seconds longer. If it’s seeming too heavy, then steep for less time or pull out some of the leaves. Just aim for something that tastes great to you.

If you’re up for trying more sheng’s, I’d suggest going for Verdant’s Wild Arbor Single-Mountain Yiwu sheng. It’s a great representation of what more traditional shengs can taste like. It’s still really complex and lovely, but it’s a little more on the juicy/fruity/grape/apple side of things, with fun pine/cedar notes.

Stephanie

Thanks Spoonvonstrup!! Yeah, I’ve been eyeing those type of brewing baskets. But there’s even an instant “gong-fu” mugs offered by some companies—like Adagio’s mug. I also have a sample of the Wild Arbor—I’m looking forward to try all my sheng samples!!

Spoonvonstup

Ah- those instant gong-fu style mugs from Adagio do work well. They’re especially good for green or white teas or display teas, since the clear sides show off how lovely the leaves are. I find them a little bit harder to clean than the brew basket, but that’s probably just because they’re a larger contraption (and I don’t have a dish washer).

Did you do the sheng sampler pack, then? Hope you enjoy them all as much as this one.

Stephanie

Yep, I ordered to sheng sampler. Such a good deal with the inclusive shipping and free sample (had to ask for the DIYI Cornfields since I love corn)!

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Comments

Spoonvonstup

Your first sheng- how exciting! You’re definitely starting at the very top here. I remember my very first sheng.. it was like sucking on a penny and an extreme lemon-flavored drying warhead at the same time- very bitter and hard to swallow. Wish I’d started with something like this!

As for “western-style brewing”? You’re right- a big teapot single steeping won’t give you all that this tea can offer. But don’t worry; you don’t need to run out and buy gaiwans or yixing clay teapots. If you can find a brewing basket Isomething like this: http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/finum-tea-brewing-basket.html), you’ll be able to conveniently recreate the gong-fu experience.
Just fill the brew basket with 3 or 4 grams of tea (1/3 or half way with leaves..about as much as you’d do for a big pot), and then set the brew basket in a personal-sized mug.
Pour in boiling water for a few seconds, take out the brew basket (you can set it on it’s cap!), and throw out this first steeping. It’s a wash to “wake up” the leaves, and it’s also like a little sacrifice for the sake of greater deliciousness.
Replace the brew basket, pour in boiling water, wait a few more seconds (5-10ish), and pull out the basket. Drink and enjoy in small sips, smacking your lips! The extra air will help you to savor more of the flavor. Plus, making the “yummy” sounds always makes things more yummy.
Continue re-steeping like this, adding 5 or so seconds each time you do it. Steep and drink until you just can’t have any more liquid! Feel free to adjust steep times, too. If it’s seeming too light, leave the basket in a few seconds longer. If it’s seeming too heavy, then steep for less time or pull out some of the leaves. Just aim for something that tastes great to you.

If you’re up for trying more sheng’s, I’d suggest going for Verdant’s Wild Arbor Single-Mountain Yiwu sheng. It’s a great representation of what more traditional shengs can taste like. It’s still really complex and lovely, but it’s a little more on the juicy/fruity/grape/apple side of things, with fun pine/cedar notes.

Stephanie

Thanks Spoonvonstrup!! Yeah, I’ve been eyeing those type of brewing baskets. But there’s even an instant “gong-fu” mugs offered by some companies—like Adagio’s mug. I also have a sample of the Wild Arbor—I’m looking forward to try all my sheng samples!!

Spoonvonstup

Ah- those instant gong-fu style mugs from Adagio do work well. They’re especially good for green or white teas or display teas, since the clear sides show off how lovely the leaves are. I find them a little bit harder to clean than the brew basket, but that’s probably just because they’re a larger contraption (and I don’t have a dish washer).

Did you do the sheng sampler pack, then? Hope you enjoy them all as much as this one.

Stephanie

Yep, I ordered to sheng sampler. Such a good deal with the inclusive shipping and free sample (had to ask for the DIYI Cornfields since I love corn)!

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Virgo Sun, Pisces Moon, Aries Rising

My ratings are purely subjective and each note varies according to my perception and mood at the moment. So, with that said, my rating scale can be deciphered as follows:
90-100: I am in love! A must have at all times! :D
80-89: This is good. It is full-tin worthy! :))
79-70: This is okay. Glad I tried it. Might get more. :)
69-60: Meh. I’m indifferent. Neither here nor there, this is Tea Purgatory. :/
59-under: Mediocre and Sad. Really not good enough to try again. A disappointment. :(

My Misc. Personal Favorites List (because I love making lists!):
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Movies = E.T., The Princess Bride, Babette’s Feast, Enchanted April, The Age of Innocence, Death Becomes Her, GATTACA, Fight Club, The Matrix, The Others, Pride and Prejudice (2005 version), Nacho Libre :).
TV Shows = The Twilight Zone (a classic!), Star Trek TNG, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I miss this!), Mad Men, Sherlock, Being Human.
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