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I’m on my fourth steep of this sheng and am really enjoying it so far. The amber color, along with smoky earthiness, is a nice change from all the sencha I have been into lately.

I was hesitant about whether or not I would like this tea. When I was in China a few years ago, I bought some oolong and jasmine green tea, along with a yixing, gaiwan, and other tea accessories. What won me over was the oolong – light, floral, and slightly sweet. Because I had a sizable purchase, they threw in a tiny brick of pu’er that didn’t interest me at all. I associated it with black tea (or the way I would end up drinking black tea) – oversteeped and bitter to the point where it would make me nauseous.

Every once in a while, like when I was sick with a cold and needed to take a break from coffee, I would tear off a big chunk of pu’er and put it in a tea ball to steep for a couple minutes. The end result – gut wrenching. I figured I was given this dried up tea because no one wanted it.

Fast forward six weeks ago when I had the killer flu. During this time, I miraculously lost all interest in drinking coffee and started drinking tea. I wanted to learn more about the varieties out there and became addicted to researching what and where to buy. I came across Verdant tea through Steepster and decided on giving the Wild Arbor Sheng a try (now that I broke all my bad steeping habits).

I’m happy to say that this tea offers a dynamic profile unlike the other teas I usually drink. It’s a full dose of earth, if that makes sense without sounding gross. It really does change my perspective on pu’er teas.

180 °F / 82 °C

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Brooklyn, NY

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