This is a lovely anise-sweet young sheng that I got as a free sample with a recent order. I did a parallel tasting with another very nice young sheng, and the link below is to a version of this with photos on my tea page.
Long twisted intact-appearing leaves and a fair bit of stem. The dry leaves smell sweet and earthy.
I put 2 grams of my tiniest gaiwan, with 1.5 ounces near boiling water. After a flash rinse, they smell even stronger and more delicious.
First infusion, 205°F/96°C, 10": sweet anise
Second infusion, 205°F/96°C, 15": sweet anise, woody/earthy starting up
Third infusion, 205°F/96°C, 20": sweet anise, woody/earthy
Fourth infusion, 205°F/96°C, 20": sweet anise, woody/earthy, still the anise is very strong, bit of bitter aftertaste
Fifth infusion, 205°F/96°C, 35": sweet anise, earthy has retreated now, bitter/sweet aftertaste
Sixth infusion, 205°F/96°C, 60" (stopped to take a picture of the leaves): sweet anise and earthy, rich and strong
Seventh infusion, 205°F/96°C, 1’: a little dilute, should have let it go longer, more sweet water with hints of anise
Eighth infusion, 205°F/96°C, 3’: oh, this is much better, my earthy flavors are back. Still delicious, yum. Young sheng star.
Losing count—10? 11? still wonderful, both of them. Troubling fact: I want to shoot the spent leaves, lay them out to show the size and pluck, but they’re just not quitting, now 15, 16 infusions in. It will be a long night.
1.5 liter later (the kettle was filled completely when I started), they’re not as rich, but still, a little better than just sweet water.
Wet leaves are are mix of light brown and green, large leaves with some more than two inches long, mostly intact.
Full review with photos: