Today I found the upper limit of “less leaf” by exceeding it.
“Today I found the upper limit of "less leaf" by exceeding it. sad face” Read full tasting note
“Looks like I haven’t tried this one before. I was in the mood for a sheng last night too, though, so randomly picked one out of my Verdant box to try out. The first infusion was...” Read full tasting note
“This was sent to me "just for fun". As I was pouring it out of the Yixing I knew it would be just that. The aroma was like some ancient maritime cedar forest. The first sip made my...” Read full tasting note
“First off I huge thanks to David for sending such an extraordinarily generous "sample" of this. There was a rush of orders when I requested this as my free sample and after it got...” Read full tasting note
Location: Nansan Village Old Growth Tea Forest, Menghai County, Yunnan
This incredible limited pressing from Yongming Workshop has a uniquely woody quality, with a lively fir tree aftertaste and a savory filling texture. Something about this tea evokes sitting in a beautiful banquet hall and being served a sumptuous meal. The early steepings have spicy notes like ancho chili in mole sauce. In the aftertaste there is the texture and sweetness of a fine sake or dry white wine. Later steepings move towards creamy buttery notes. There are even hints of flavor that remind us of baked flat bread with olive pate, tomato and a touch of rosemary. In very late steepings, sweet cinnamon qualities start coming out as the intense savory notes fade into the background.
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Looks like I haven’t tried this one before. I was in the mood for a sheng last night too, though, so randomly picked one out of my Verdant box to try out.
The first infusion was exactly what I wanted – classic “sheng” flavour, and light enough not to be biting or astringent. Second infusion is perhaps a bit oversteeped, as it’s a bit sharp, but still drinkable.
As for flavour profiles? I have no idea. It tastes like a sheng. Nuances are so lost on me, and I don’t feel like trying to figure them out today :) So apologies for the useless review! I did enjoy the tea, though!
This was sent to me “just for fun”. As I was pouring it out of the Yixing I knew it would be just that. The aroma was like some ancient maritime cedar forest. The first sip made my cheeks tingle. There is an incredible clarity in my mind. One of those teas that the Chinese have known about for eons while we westerners have been sitting idly with black breakfast teas. There is that certain something. That mysterious glow. That energy that others with more knowledge on Eastern philosophy can articulate. I can see how the ritual of tea can lead to a higher consciousness. Me, I love this tea. Please put it on the site David.
First off I huge thanks to David for sending such an extraordinarily generous “sample” of this. There was a rush of orders when I requested this as my free sample and after it got shipped David realized he might have forgotten in it, surely enough when it arrived there was a sample of Yabao, which I will never turn down and he said he would send extra with my next order, which came sooner than I had planned. There was actually more of this than the teas I paid for! It had actually sold out during that time and I’m guessing he included the last of it, wonderful customer service that and the amazing quality tea offerings keep me coming back to Verdant time and again.
Unfortunately sheng and I are still at odds with one another. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great sheng and there many notes in here that I appreciate, the cedar and rosemary especially are wonderful! I generally get a those tastes either a few seconds in or in the aftertaste which lingers and keeps me coming back for steep after steep. It’s just the astringency as it first hits my tongue and the dryness in the finish. I’ve never had sake, a sad fact I need to remedy, but I get the dry white wine reference. I started this last night and have continued it this morning in a quest for the buttery notes and cinnamon at the end.
I wonder what I could do besides lowering the water temp to lessen my perceived astringency. I keep my steeps short at the beginning but tend to want to draw them out if I lower the temp. Perhaps less leaf? Cold brewing a sheng seems a bit odd to me. Aging takes awhile and the right kind of storage though I’m not opposed to it, I would actually like to try some older shengs perhaps from the nineties to see if I like them any better. I can always find something to appreciate in Verdant’s shengs as they are wonderfully complex, it’s just getting over that dryness.
I was very excited to try this tea. Doubly so, because I was going to debut my new sesame duanni teapot from Yunnan Sourcing to make this tea! No other sheng would do to break it in. It’s a bit on the large side for solo drinking (5ish oz with leaves in) but given how fantastic this tea was, it was hardly an issue drinking all the deliciousness over two days.
So 6g to 5oz at 212F, each steep around two seconds. Later steeps closer to 4 seconds. Made it to steep 8 on the first day, steep 17 on the second. I feel like the leaves had more to give even then. I gave the leaves a brief 5sec rinse at boiling before starting all of this.
The dry leaf smelled sheng-y to me. I’m a bit ashamed to say that I don’t know what else to make of that scent. Maybe with some experience I’ll have more to say about that. Wet, I picked up some tobacco smell from the leaves, which again, I tend to think of as “sheng-y”. There’s a whisper of mulled spices. It’s amazing how much the leaves expanded after the the rinse. From a compressed little clump, to endless, big leaves inside my pot. I love it.
My first impression, drinking the first few steeps, is how amazingly thick the tea is. It just coats your tongue and your throat, and it’s the most gorgeous mouthfeel ever. I was getting a tingling sensation over the tip of my tongue. I’m not certain I got the taste of mole, but there was a definite spiciness that reminded me of white pepper. Near the end of the flavour arc, I’m positive I tasted sesame seed candy. So sweet, so delightful!
By the middle steeps, starting around 6 or 7, the tingling had faded out, as had the sesame taste. At this point, my vocabulary fails me. The closest I can get to articulating the experience, is a dark and deeply nuanced older sibling to a chinese green tea. Astringent, darkly tangy, and then fading into an intense and never-ending aftertaste of grapefruit that reminds me intensely of the Sun Dried Jingshan’s aftertaste.
Then finally, in the last few steeps, a thick buttery sweetness. Definitely cinnamon-esque, though a lot more delicate. Maybe closer to a glass of almond milk with some cinnamon and nutmeg sprinkled across the top. So soothing, so energizing, so delicious. I’m so glad I have loads in my cupboard! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful (tea) friendship.
(PS – I suspect the rating will climb as my palate learns a bit more about puerh.)
savory , romesary, conifer/pinesap, with hinths of a subtle mossy forest quality. lingering sweetness.
This tea filled my body with a wholesome, balanced, healthy forest feeling.
I tried this one in gwaiwan with 3, 6, and 4 grams.
at 6 grams, once the leaves opened up (around 4th infusion) it yielde potent aged flavor and lasted for seemingly endless infusions.
For my taste, 4 grams seems to be the optimal amount for this tea in a standard sized gaiwan.
I made the mistake of oversteeping this initially (steeped for about 2 minutes instead of 2 seconds initially). Subsequent re-steepings may have suffered from this, but the flavor held up better than I would have expected given how much I oversteeped it.
The liqueur smells like barbecued wood. The tea tastes similar to how it smells and has an aftertaste like prunes.