I’m not super fond of Sheng Puerh.
I know that’s not something one should admit, but there it is…I’ve said it!
Why? Some are too timid and some too ashy for my taste.
I mentioned this to Lily Duckler and got an “Aha, I know just the sheng’s for you!”, which I hope she’ll enlighten me on at some point. I have an open mind!
Peeking at the flavor profile for the Haixingtang Sheng I was intrigued. It sounded like a Sheng Puerh I might like (skeptical comment but truthful).
Method: Fat Gaiwan, 4 oz water to 5 grams leaf. 1 Rapid rinse.
Chose to follow a 5 second steep, increasing 5 seconds each pour.
Visually: Sparkling clear champaigne gold liquor.
The first taste was so light that I could barely detect anything other than a bit of savory, spinachy something.
Unsatisfied, I gulped a big swig of tea which washed my mouth with the round flavor of vanilla bark. Something very distictly puerh’ish, a bit earthy with heat on the tip of my tongue.
The aroma of steeping tea smelled like spanikopita and vanilla pudding wafting through my kitchen. Sweet and savory!
I filled my cup again, the spinach gone, the texture smooth and refined.
Steep 3 changed to creamy spinach and spicy heat (odd how the spinach flavor came and went). I let the cup cool down, and tasted raisins.
The 4th steep was creamy, smooth and green vegital but not savory.
At the far back sides of my palate, I tasted CLOVE! The flavor was completely isolated from the creamy vegital taste.
Then, the tip of my tongue tingled the way ginger heats the mouth.
Again, I steeped the leaves and poured a glistening cup of Puerh.
I was puzzled about the aroma and flavor of the tea. The vanilla I tasted wasn’t Cookie or Pastry vanilla, but something different.
This was familiar in my taste memory, an experience with the scent and flavor if I could just remember!
Passing the Gaiwan in front of my nose, then sipping the tea…I remembered where I had smelled the scent, then the taste of the vanilla.
Months ago, I went with my granddaughter Schey to the local Hooka Bar! The scent and flavor was something like the vanilla tobacco…grassy, vanilla yet smooth.
Sounds odd, but there it was.
I quite liked this Sheng actually.
My apologies for the static structure of this review which when I began, was interrupted by several phone calls…ugh.
A new Steepster sent me a note that got me thinking. I’ve assumed that most people know who I am because I’ve been on Steepster for a long time, and so I chatter on with my stories, which makes no sense to newer arrivals.
In an effort to catch up anyone who may need to time-travel to the present…
I’m the OLD LADY of Steepster! Yes,65 and proud of it!
With health issues (migraines and fibromyalgia)…I live a happy, frugal life in Colorado (close to my daughter and her big family of 3 biological, 5 adopted and various foster children!).
My social outlets are a friendly local tea house (Happy Lucky’s), Church, writing on Steepster and a blog. I write about tea and tell stories most of the time in run-on sentences. Often, I’m opinionated but I never mean to offend anyone. I’m a lover of life and and a beginner learning about tea!