I work with Garret and Sarah at Mandala Tea so I won’t be doing a rating – just personal reflections and a “check-in” on this young sheng.
Method: 7g in gaiwan, boiling water, rinse followed by two infusions of 30 seconds, then five 1 minute infusions and one 5 minute infusion.
After the rinse I poked around in the material and noticed a number of dark reddish leaves and a nice grape-like scent. All infusions brewed up a relatively deep amber/yellow color. It’s a perilous term, but what I think of as a pleasant “sour” in tea is present. It seems to refresh, awaken my tongue and mouth. No smokey smell or flavor, which allows me to enjoy some subtle grape and mineral action as the sourness fades. This stuff feels velvety as I sip.
There is great Qi with this high altitude wild picked stuff. I’m accustomed to it from the Mandala Wild Monk and it is strong with this cake, too. Long after I drink a cup, there is a coolness in my mouth as I draw in breath and my chest feels opened. The sweetness that lingers long after the last cup is just a bonus.