One guess as to what I am doing right now! Yep, still painting, I got more or less none done yesterday since I spent the day with Ben, it was totally worth it so no regrets. Sadly I am not sure how much I will get done today since I have a splitting headache and staring at tiny lines on a 10mm miniature is not necessarily the best cure for it, but hopefully it will clear up. If not I shall lie in bed and play games on my phone, it would be on the Xbox 360 but Ben currently has it in pieces making it hard to play anything.
I am about to introduce you guys to possibly the biggest puerh leaves I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Yi Wu Shan Da Ye Sheng Bing Stone-Pressed (Yiwu Mountain Green Puer Cake) 2014 from Misty Peaks Tea had such epic long leaves that I was afraid they would not fit in my teapot, but fortunately they did perfectly, and I did not need to break a single one! This tea is described as a meditative tea, one to uplift or calm depending on your needs, well looks like this will be a tea I can spend the day with while painting. So, sniffing time, and let me say the aroma of these leaves is powerful, I was impressed, and let out a little maniacal giggle of excitement. One of the reasons I like drinking my tea solo, I tend to make a whole bunch of weird noises while drinking it! So, those powerful notes are a blend of sweet and savory, with notes of dried apples, hay, a bit of spinach, a tiny bit of distant floral (reminds me of fruit tree blossoms) a little bit of woodiness, and wonderful finish of camphor at the finish. I adore that camphor note, really, Sheng puerh with a strong camphor presence has become my go-to tea to drink when I have a cold, the aroma of it fills me with a sense of relief, even when I feel fine.
So after a short rinse and subsequent short steep it is time to stick my nose in my teapot and enjoy the leaves. Someone remind me that next time I review a rosy tea I need to make a ‘stop and smell the roses’ pun, I make too few tea related puns as it is. The aroma of the wet leaves is one of the cleanest smelling Sheng pu’s I have ever sniffed, not saying I have really smelled any that were dirty, but this one has a crispness to it. The same crispness that spring water and clean mountain air have, it has the crispness of home to it, which I find immensely soothing. There are notes of fresh hay and straw, cut grass, oak bark (specifically green wood rather than old dried up bark) fruit tree blossoms, a bit of dried fruit, and again a finish of olfactory cooling camphor. The liquid is a blend of honey, hay, flowers, and camphor. Really liking the flowery notes, I do not run into fruit tree flowers very often.
Well, I can safely say that this Sheng has all of the flavor notes I like in a Sheng, plus some extra bits that are awesome! It is not overly sweet and it is very smooth in both taste and mouthfeel. The tea starts out with a delicate smokiness and flowery notes, very much so a blend of apple blossoms and a touch of strawflower. This transitions to freshly cut grass and a distant note of fruit, and a finish of camphor giving a cooling effect.
The aroma of the second steep is lovely, notes of dried apples and apricots, a tiny bit of hay and grass, and a finish of honey and camphor. Let me start out by saying that wow this tea is smooth, like almost buttery in both texture and taste (unsalted of course) but leaning towards the honey sweet side, with a nice hint of apple blossoms. This moves to dried apples and fresh apricots with a slight hint of hay. For the finish there is a fairly mild cooling camphor note and a lingering honey sweetness.
Wee, time three! (If you were curious, it was around steep three when I finally finished giving all my Scourge a Drakenhoe Nightshade Shade, so tea while waiting for them to dry seems like a good idea) the aroma is so sweet, blending honey and dried apples with a hint of hay and camphor, I am amazed at how fruity this Sheng is in both aroma and taste. And speaking of taste, this steep is very similar to the previous steep, but with a bit more sweetness and apple notes, also the camphor at the end is more prominent.
So like yesterday I did my customary finish writing at steep three, but continued on with the tea up until steep eight. I am pretty sure the tea could have still gone further, but I was very tea drunk at this point and needed to call it quits, alas, I lack tea stamina, clearly I need to train more. I can say that steep four was my favorite by far, it perfectly balanced camphor and sweetness, later steeps still had both notes, but they were diminishing. Replacing them were notes of hay, grass, and green things along with a bit of smoke that cropped up ever so often very faintly. I do not say this often, but I have to get myself a cake of this tea, usually I just want samples of Puerh because that stuff is a commitment, you do not just buy Puerh, you become friends with it, and I want to become friends with this tea. I want us to go on shopping dates and have long conversations, it just made me feel so good after drinking it that I need it in my collection.
For blog and photos: Yi Wu Shan Da Ye Sheng Bing Stone-Pressed (Yiwu Mountain Green Puer Cake) 2014