Spent the day with this (as much as I could with a very clingy toddler) and may have to come back to it again tomorrow, as I didn’t reinfuse as much as I could have. This one is tricky, its a subtle shape-shifter, a bit elusive, yet rewarding when you sit and listen.
It starts off silky, with a hint of wood, spice and nut. I had a hard time pinning down the walnut, but once I pictured my tongue running over those tannic silky membranes I was there. I get a hint of cedar, but not nearly as much as other shengs, its more just woodsy, but not any particular variety of forest. There is juniper and apple when you look for it (or read about it). However it is mostly dirt and spice. Not hot spice, but a rough, dry, anonymous Yunnan dirt and spice (but not just peppery). Right now I feel like sheng evokes dirt and shu moist soil (don’t get me wrong I lovvve tasting the earth) but I am overly tired and need to come back to this in the morning.
Edit: It has been revived and this time round I’m doing longer steeps, first thirty then a min and I’m on 2 and a half mins right now. The tea, or maybe I or perhaps both of us are responding better to this. Yes it is still musty and vaporous but there are some solid notes also, mint and clove, not strong clove, but like the taste and feeling of old fashioned clove gum after you’ve been chewing it for awhile and the flavor is starting to fade. That. Let’s push it to three and then I think I will have to revisit the Farmer’s Co-op 03 and Star of Bulang 06 before my other pu’erhs arrive tomorrow. I still find it a heck of a lot easier to enjoy shu, but I’m learning. Edit edit: this is gooood, went for another and another, might not stop ;). Will definitely be starting at 30sec after the rinse next time!