Well I was going to finish off one of the green oolongs gongfu today but I appear to have forgotten them at the office. So I figured, well, maybe I will sit down with one of those shengs.
I chose this one first because it is not aged long and I wanted to try a relatively “fresh” sheng before I move on to the aged one. I am unsure of whether I have had a sheng; I’ve certainly had shu puerh before, but the smell of the dry leaf is familiar to me, so maybe I have. The dry leaf smells very vegetal but also kind of mossy and then also warm like yeasty bread.
When the hot water hits the leaves I am struck by an intense leafy aroma, a little like cooked spinach. The liquid from the rinse smells familiar to me, but not as a tea; more like fresh, damp earth. The actual early steeps (3 seconds) have more vegetal notes in the aroma. They also have a distinct scent of puerh that is hard for me to couch in any other terms. It is a bit treeish, that is both leafy and woody. A little bit of cedar, a little bit of oak. The flavor is slightly minerally and woody, with a bit of cooked greens to it as well. A few steeps in I got an intriguing floral aftertaste of osmanthus that was subtle but present. Hmmm, unexpected!
I never got almondy notes that have been noted before, but I did really enjoy the later steeps. This was a pretty good experience and I look forward to trying my other shengs.