A continuation of my drawn-out exploration of Mengsong area puer. A baggie provided by mrmopar at our South Bay meetup with Todd <3
The dry leaf, with flashes of silver among the dark, smells fruity and sweet with plums, dates and caramel, orange hard candies. The sweetness becomes even more pronounced and richer with warming, layering itself upon apricot, juicy orange, thistle, eggplant and forest floor. Rinsing brings what I think is a relatively more humid storage character compared to a lot of younger sheng that I drink: wet rocks, inoffensive compost, wet coffee grounds; dates, fish meat, a hint of musty valerian root. I find the humid aromas perplexing because I’ve had this baggie since 2018? – the year this tea was pressed – and my storage is mild.
The liquor color upon pour is a pale straw and honey color. The initial aroma is faint with musty and orange candy hints, dates.
Somewhat silky body with mild bitterness. I don’t taste much but I don’t consider that a bad thing. I think this tea is entering a period of change. With the swallow, a lingering date vapor morphs into a distinctive candied orange peel aftertaste with maybe a hint of milk. There’s also sort of an elderflower aspect. The tea dries the throat out a little bit.
Without fail each time, after the first steep, I become lost in sensation. I wrote notes like “I love the sound of this pot”, as I’d lean in close to hear the displacement of air within the clay; “Porosity” with pictures drawn of effervescent bubbles;—
—all spaced out in artistic fashion.
With the second pour, fast sips, gone in a flash. The bitterness blooms. I feel it under the tongue and down the throat. Grounded energy with a caffeine rushing in the chest, softened gaze, heavy. Enjoying running my hands through my hair.
The third pour brings a biting acidity in the throat which dries out completely, the salivary glands as well.
From the fourth on, the tea mellows out. I’ve had several sessions by now with this tea. Every note ends with the 5th infusion despite continuing to drink beyond that. I have yet to steep this tea out.
The candied orange peel aftertaste is a unique aspect to this tea. Right now, the high pungent tastes of young sheng are becoming muted, the mouthfeel nothing special but this young bush tea does effect my body and mind in a way that I find pleasurable. At its current stage I wouldn’t buy a cake but for some reason I could see it turning into a great aged tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Biting, Bitter, Candy, Caramel, Coffee, Compost, Dates, Drying, Elderflower, Flowers, Forest Floor, Honey, Meat, Milk, Musty, Orange, Orange Zest, Plum, Sweet, Tart, Vegetables, Wet Rocks, Wet Wood