pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou
Having a 2010 Xiaguan “Bulang” iron cake. my first “real” Bulang cake to try. Stepping softly on this. This cake is very tightly compressed aka the “Iron Cake” designation. The leaves seem to be chopped a bit some may be a product of the compression. Gave a 5 second rinse to wake the leaf. This one hits pretty good. Astringency and drying but not too much. It gives the pleasant “bitterness” that many desire in a sheng. Citrusy and puckery akin to the squeeze of a raw lemon in your mouth. This is a pretty strong head on whap you sheng. I think the tightness of this cake will cause it to age slower than a traditional beeng. I think this will interesting in another 5 years or so. Prepared in the Gaiwan 13 grams 3 steeps to fill the first cup.
Just bought a shu cake, construction year 2006, recipe 9599, from the Langhe tea factory, based in Menghai, prefecture Xishuangbanna. The design is pretty much inspired by the classic red Da Yi from Menghai. After only smelling the cake, I was sure, I wasn’t going to exit the shop, without it. The tasting only confirmed my first guess, this is classic stuff. Very nice color, full-bodied, earthy, under-wood taste. Hmmm, only this heavenly taste and feel, can make me reconcile with the severe gods of winter.
Pretty, warm day here on the north coast of California, which matches well with my continued favorite, 2003 Meng Song Dai tribe raw bamboo pu-erh. I just love the citrus notes in this tea, and it seems mellow, but bright and alive as well.
Is that a Pacific Great Blue Heron? I see a lot of Great Blue and Black Crowned Night Herons at a local park here in Toronto. I can’t wait until those small cute Neotropic migrants fly back! Especially the warblers!
Oo! I just ordered some of that 2003 bamboo pu-erh, yesterday. I am eager to try it. :)
Hope you like it as much as I do Tea Pet. Yes, Sammerz314, there has been a Great Blue Heron in residence on the lagoon where I live in Big Lagoon, (Trinidad) California. We have been photographing this amazing bird recently, and I posted it as my avatar as a homage to the Xiaguan tea factory and their logo. I like their teas.
Sheng, definitely sheng for me today… my first time. It’s Qianjiazhai Old Growth 2012 Sheng by Verdant Tea and I like it! :)
I am just starting to explore the huge world of tea. I am still in the phase of trying “generic” examples of different teas and finding out what I like. So, I bought some loose generic brand shou. (In my country – Slovenia, sheng is really hard to come by anyway) I really wanted to like it, but couldn’t get around the distict earthy smell. It reminded me of my grandfathers goat stable. Not very nice. It was also somehow bitter and “thin” bodied. Still, I could say I enjoyed the whole experience.
But I have been reading a bit, and some people seem to say that shou is supposed to feel like that and others say that is not the case. Also, from what I read around here it seems that pu erh comes in a whole spectrum of different aromas. So what would you recommend me as a newbie tea explorer: find some different shou or look for some quality sheng?
Sorry if I’m not sticking to the topic here. :)
Check out my cupboard there are some good ones in there. If you are looking to sample I can recommend a great seller for you. If you are interested follow me and we can message.
Earthy is normal for shu, but a good clean sort of earthy, and it definitely should not be bitter or thin. Exactly the opposite, it should be thick smooth and sweet.
As for shu or sheng, try both, they’re completely different.
Sampling a 2007 Yiwu Zhengshan Qizibing from the Puerhshop. I went with 4.2 g in 100 mL of water. The wet leaves produce a charming fruity aroma with a golden amber soup. The soup does not seem very thick but is indeed very clean. The tea is refreshing with a rather quick hui gan. Nice tea in my books. Throughout the infusions, I’ve come to realize that I am in desperate need for a tea waste bowl!
2007 White Dragon Lao Cha Tou from yunnan sourcing, very mild and mellow, smooth and comforting. Super relaxing qi, a sedative effect even.
Had a 2010 Yunnan Sourcing “Yi Bang” wild arbor sheng. This is very floral in aroma and wet leaves. It is soft and fruity and very easy to drink with a nice sweetness to it. This is not one of those young shengs that says Bam I am here but a whisper that says I am here to tickle those taste buds. A very nice young sheng. I think a Yunnan Sourcing order is in the near future.
Drinking Yunnan Sourcing 2012 Wuliang mountain wild arbor sheng. It’s sweet and thick, slightly grassy, and very floral. It reminds me strongly of high mountain oolong, especially in its buttery texture. Also, it keeps going on forever.
Last week I worked on two Menghai shou cakes so I decided that this would be my week for shengs! Spent the afternoon enjoying my first session with the 2010 Menghai Golden Age. It’s quite smooth, vegetal with a nice swallow as it warms the throat. Leaves a nice aftertaste. Very good right now and it should be fantastic with a little more age!