Glad I read the description of the grading before I started commenting, helps me understand why I am looking at darker, more broken leaves. So I’m drinking this the day after Upton’s Pai Mu Dan and to be fair I should have done a 2 and half min steep but I felt like short steeps. When I brewed it up and couldn’t pin point what I was tasting I decided to do a 30 sec steep of Pai Mu Dan and the differences became very clear. Pai Mu Dan is all honeydew on the first steep while Shou Mei is all veg and pine and herb, more sipping back and forth narrows it down to rosemary and sage. Second steeps mellow out both teas a bit but adds a bit of cocoa sweetness to the Shou Mei while the Pai Mu Dan got less sweet and the third steep of Shou Mei is more cocoa and spice while Pai Mu Dan is like over ripe melon. I enjoyed the later steeps of the Shou Mei more than the Pai Mu Dan, even though its supposed to be a lower grade tea. Tomorrow Moonlight, just found out its Yue Guang Bai :)
Revisiting this nearly a month later with longer steeps, which interestingly enough makes the herbaceous notes take a back seat to cocoa and nuttiness on the first steep. It does make sense as I am basically drinking all three of the shorter steeps in one, I find it very interesting.