Had a round of this at the tea shop with a couple people the other day using good water in a glazed ceramic gaiwan. Slightly more crisp, but that’s about it. I’m leaving my rating higher than it might deserve, though.
Definitely not the most exciting around and it’s the sheng I’ve enjoyed the least so far of their lineup… Then why do I keep drinking it?
Chock it up to the fact I’m a sucker for gamey teas, coffees, wines, and foods. I like wooly, musk-like, leathery, earthy, mossy, and wet-wood characteristics as long as they are not completely over the top. I like bitterness to be present. I enjoy sour characteristics. This plays with all of them.
More importantly – and the saving grace from me chopping its rating down into the 50s, in spite of me liking technical defects from time to time – when brewed at different concentrations it shifts in overall expression and character. It should be expected that concentration shifts will dramatically alter a tea, but shifting between 4g/100mL and 6g/100mL gave a greater shift in fundamental expression than contrasting different types of tea in the same category. One was fairly clean, pollen-like, sweeter, gravelly, and with the mossy qualities while the other had little discernible sweetness, more tempura, wet wool, slightly singed scrambled egg, driftwood, pepper, and a slight citrus aftertaste with not much of a shift in body. Pretty much any characteristic present one way was absent brewed another (temp and time alterations mostly dealt in the same flavor sets but different expressions). Not quite as extreme a jump as many dancongs I’ve had, but I don’t expect young shengs to nearly as exciting as that group of teas… Heck, I don’t expect – only hope – that they are super drinkable in the first place.
So, excitement factor for me and my own selfish subjective preferences have tossed this tea a rope as it teetered on the edge of a cliff for me. I’ll probably be revisiting it again though I don’t expect my opinion of it to improve. Or maybe this one will just fall by the wayside for me since so many more of the offerings by Zomia are much prettier.