95

This is a very expensive tea, so I wanted to be well prepared. I finished lunch 30 minutes before tasting, brushed teeth without toothpaste, rinsed mouth with plain water—didn’t want anything to interfere with the taste of the tea.

1.4 grams of tea in tiny gaiwan
30mL water per infusion (used a very small measuring cup)

Water boiling or near boiling (205-212 per the thermometer when poured from the kettle)

Flash rinse

Wet leaves smell like forest floor—sweet clean compost scent

first infusion 15 seconds
earthy like the scent promised, but surprisingly strong sweet and spicy notes right up there with it

2nd infusion 20 seconds
earthy, caramel, sweet, spicy, very very very nice

3rd infusion 25 seconds
About the same as the 2nd infusion, a bit stronger is only difference

4th infusion 30 seconds
earthy, sweet, spicy, caramel

5th infusion, 40 seconds
Still strong and lovely

I have to admit to an ulterior motive here: I was hoping I might find that I actually prefer my young sheng puerhs to the ‘real deal’ of very aged sheng, since I have come to prefer them to most of the ripe shu—ripe shu designed to mimic the aged sheng. So I was hoping to find this would be a rather bland experience like eating dirt. And it wasn’t. It is lovely. It is very, very lovely.

Is it lovely enough to want to invest $$$ in drinking it regularly and in larger volume? Maybe not. I think stuff like this will remain an occasional tea, because even as it is sitting net to me in the cup, and the water has just boiled again, visions of Lao Ban Zhang loose mao cha are dancing in my head.

But do I understand why some stuff like this is praised and prized so highly? Yes. I get it now. It is subtly but dramatically different than the best of the shus I have had, because it manages a wonderful balance of the elements of spicy, sweet, earthy, fruity, more complex than I’ve had yet from a shu.

I’ll report back later when I see how many infusions I can get. Now up to 7, no surprises, still going strong.

Edit: got up to 12 with signficant tea flavor; by 16, it was slightly sweet water, still nice, but not a lot of oomph left.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Silver

It sounds grand. Thank you very much for the report. If you have a chance, could you post how many steepings you get?

teaddict

Edited to complete the infusions.

Thomas Smith

I have wound up tossing all of my money at any sample of older sheng I can get. If I have to eat leftover pastries from work as most of my diet so I can afford living expenses despite it, so be it! Hard part is justifying drinking these without sharing with friends.

the_skua

The first taste of aged sheng is memorable, isn’t it?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

Silver

It sounds grand. Thank you very much for the report. If you have a chance, could you post how many steepings you get?

teaddict

Edited to complete the infusions.

Thomas Smith

I have wound up tossing all of my money at any sample of older sheng I can get. If I have to eat leftover pastries from work as most of my diet so I can afford living expenses despite it, so be it! Hard part is justifying drinking these without sharing with friends.

the_skua

The first taste of aged sheng is memorable, isn’t it?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I’ve been drinking tea for 30 years, but only bought 2 brands of 2 different teas for most of that time. It took me almost 30 years to discover sencha, puerh, and green oolongs. Now I am making up for lost time.

I try to log most of my teas at least once, but then get lazy and stop recording, so # times logged should not be considered as a marker of how much a particular tea is drunk or enjoyed.

Location

Los Angeles

Following These People