I bought a sample when it was released, embarrassingly because of the hyperbole with which it was described…something about punishing bitterness and body feels that continue to intensify with each steep. When I first sampled it I was like ok it’s bitter but that’s about it…not even as bitter as a purple tea…I let it sit a few months and drank the last 12g the other day before work. The tea was still bitter but had a nice herbal background and a bit of a mineral profile with perhaps a touch of aniseed. I’m reminded of an old school New England ipa minus the malt. The strong point of this tea however was the qi. I had what would have normally been an exasperating day at work and this tea gave me a calm energy that allowed me navigate the BS with a grin. I prefer a tea with more floral fruity tobacco notes but if if you are a fan of Lao Man E and the like, this is a solid tea at a reasonable price.

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I’ve been a huge fan of all manner of black tea since the early 90s particularly second flush Darjeeling, Fujian, Yunnan and Assam teas but last winter fell headfirst into the sheng world and the rest is history…


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