This is my second “high quality” dragonwell I’ve tasted (first one being Panan from Redblossom) and my first ever Shifeng. As soon as this was announced I immediately preordered 1 ounce just to see what all the fuzz was about.
>Dry Leaf Appearance/Aroma
The leaf is somewhat coarse, with a pale golden green color and a very faint grassy, nutty, hay-like aroma. Leaves are mostly medium sized, with several broken pieces and leaf bits.
I’ve experimented with this tea with Verdant’s gong-fu style and Redblossom’s recommended shifeng brewing guidelines. Both yielded somewhat different results. Gongfu was done following Verdant’s guidelines of 175F water, 4 grams of leaf, with 3 second steep times. Redblossom’s I used 180F water, 2 grams of leaf, with 1 min steep time.
Clear pale yellow-green.
Following Verdant’s gongfu style, this tea was very light, slightly creamy, grassy, and with a very noticeable cashew-nutty taste. I was able to brew the tea several times in a row with similar results, with it slowly losing its flavor.
Following the more “default” way to brew green tea, using Redblossom’s guidelines, I was able to get a super thick and creamy first cup with crisp grassy notes, but surprisingly lacking the clear cashew hint. Subsequent re-infusions were noticeably weaker in taste and texture (losing its thick creaminess at the second infusion).
>Wet Leaf Appearance
After several infusions, the coarse leaves become very tender and reveal their beautiful shape of three young top leaves.
I really liked this tea. It’s also very interesting to see the differences between good dragonwells. I still prefer the panan version, but this one, with its clear cashew nut taste and thick creamy texture makes it a delicious green tea. I also found verdant’s gonfu way to be my preferred method to brew this tea, Redblossom’s way gave me a very one dimensional tea compared to the gongfu style, but maybe this method will work better with their version of shifeng? we’ll have to find out once I try that one in the future.