3 Tasting Notes
This is my firt aged Sheng Pu-Erh. I have been accustomed to drinking and liking pu-erh first by buying cheap teas tuochas and beeng chas from the Golden Sail company. Most of these don’t have production dates on them and, from what I understand, are ripened or Shou pu-erhs.
When visiting Camelia Sinensis, I asked the employee serving me where should I go next, mostly wanting a Sheng tea. When he opened the metal canister to let me smell the leaves of this tea, I knew I was up for something nice. Right away, images of old grey wood in a barn on a hot and dry day began swirling before my eyes. So, after the surprise of the origin (I’m fairly new in the world of pu-erh and thought Yunnan was the only producer), I asked for my 25g, paid and got back home.
Arriving home, I rinced the leaves in my gaiwan, steeped 10 seconds (approximately, I count 3 breaths) and watched the burnt orange liquor fill my cup. I had a quick smell of the humid leaves, noting something along the way of toffee or caramelised sugar. The leaves are very nice, quite large and complete. A fair quantity of twigs, more that I normally see in a tuocha but then, as I said, normality is quite recent, for me…
Upon tasting, I was fullfilled: The Notes of old wood and toffee were still there but also followed some hints of camphor, and dried wildflowers. The brew was tasty yet on the less bitter side. Taste lingered for some time, maybe not as much as I expected but I left it for subsequent steeps to verify.
Further steeping had the camphor notes come a bit more upfront, with the color turning slightly darker but with a clean orange hue. The aftertaste was also upgraded, lingering and vanishing slowly leaving a nice feeling of dry heat while, as the cups were emptied, feeling a nice cooling of the body.
Overall, a very nice experience. I was surprised at the number of steeps I got from the same gaiwan without getting that “finished” taste I usually get with golden sail pu-erhs. It mostly went away slowly, keeping most of its taste-images there, only having some leading at first and letting others peek through as steeps went.
Before tasting this tea, I was just a tea drinker. This turned me instantly in a tea lover, into someone who searches for tea, who wants to deepen his knowledge and open new tasting horizons.
This is a very sweet tea without, as far as I know, any flavorings added. The leafs are rolled into little beads and when infused uncurl to nice healthy and thick complete leaves. Very green and quite large, the leaves can be infused several times (4-5) and reveal their taste without loosing any quality. After that, much longer steeps are needed.
The taste is very milky, close to milk candy. Hints of fresh sugar cane being chewed also come to mind. The color is a soft yellow, close to dried hay.
Asiatica seems to be fairly new in Montréal, Quebec as their site pops as “coming soon”. Their products are all packed in round metal tins with two caps. I haven’t found them in lots of places but IGA seems to sell some from time to time.