I like the description of this smelling like books, because it really does. A sort of musty scent and flavour. I’m not sure how I felt about it. It was . . . wildly different from any other tea I’ve tasted. Then again, it’s one of the only straight aged pu’erhs I’ve ever sampled. I think I’ll have to try it again. I am definitely intrigued. Not going to rate this one quite yet.
2006 Artisan Revival Stone-Pressed Sheng
Dry Leaf: As part of a pu’er heritage celebration, this leaf was picked deep in Xishuangbanna by the Dai people and allowed to sun-dry spread across bamboo mats and large banana leaves. Without the use of any mechanized technology, the tea was pressed into bricks by wrapping the leaves in cloth and stacking stones to weight them down. The old process is clearly visible by the extremely loose compression, and the perfect, huge leaves and buds. The colors are beautiful warm shades of orange buds, brown and black leaves and silver buds.
Aroma: A sweet and nostalgic trace of pipe tobacco and cloves, and the rich comforting smell of newly-printed books.
Color: Crystalline yellow with a suspension of shimmering down from spring buds.
Taste through early steepings: Literally mouth-watering. Strong creamy flavor and an intense orchid perfume with the lingering aftertaste of honeysuckle.
Taste in middle to late steepings: Floral notes move between orchid and lilac, while the sweet grass taste of Anxi oolong comes through. This sheng pu’er is so exquisitely smooth, it will completely redefine what sheng can be. While many sheng pu’ers are bitter and drying when younger, this one is perfect. It can only grow towards even deeper flavors with age, if you can keep yourself from drinking it all now.