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I felt like being adventurous today, so I picked a random puerh. While I’m no expert on sheng, I’ve had my fair share of cheap young sheng samples, and not many of them were palatable let alone good. Regardless, David over at Verdant says that this is a pretty good tea despite its age, so I figured I’d go for it.

I carefully broke off a nice portion of leaves, and brewed them up using my gaiwan and near-boiling water. The leaves were allowed to steep for 15 seconds for this first cup. The first thing that I noticed is that the aroma of the tea is actually fairly mild, lacking the harshness I associate with young sheng. Likewise, the tea flavor is a lot milder as well, which was a wonderful surprise. While there is the expected initial astringency, it is neither a strong as I expected nor a long-lasting. The tea actually sweetens after a few seconds, and then it gets really interesting. The tea is very crisp, with notes citrus and some spices mixing together to create a very complex yet relaxing flavor profile that lingers for over a minute on the hard palate. Finally, the tea has a very nice smooth feeling to round off the experience. It will be really interesting to see what later steeps reveal, after a lot of the tannins get washed out.

The second cup was brewed with the same parameters as the first, but only half the steep time. Surprisingly, the tea is only a touch milder than during the first steep. The stringency is less noticeable, but the complexity and the aftertaste are unaffected. Not much else to say other than it’s still rather pleasant. Maybe the next cup will be more revealing…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Bio

I am a university student, studying Computer Science, who found that I really enjoy a nice cup of tea. I finally got into loose-leaf tea in August of 2011. I am currently in the process of expanding my horizons, and have found that I have a particular fondness for Oolongs in general, and Wuyi Yanchas in particular. The unique mineral taste is very appealing to me, as well as a nice Sencha. More recently, I’ve developed a taste for Sheng puerh, white tea, and black teas. The only things I’ve tried that I didn’t like was Shu puerh, but that might have been because it was quite young. Regardless, I’ve been slowly expanding my horizons, so if you have any recommendations, please feel free to send me a PM.

Just for the heck of it, my other interests include classical musics (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Debussy, Shostakovitch, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Wagner, to name a few composers). I also have a fondness for a bit more modern music, like The Beatles, all Jazz (by all, I really do mean all), Gorillaz (I love Demon Days), and a couple of Indie artists you will never run across unless you play a lot of semi obscure Indie games. Also, I love cats.

Location

Fairfax, VA

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