This is the last of the teas from my first White2Tea order. I can’t remember why I chose this one now, because the majority of the notes seem fairly negative. I’m not a great lover of bitterness in my pu’erh, and particularly not sheng. I must have read something redeeming at some point, though, so I’m going to give it a chance anyway! It’s the oldest of the shengs I selected, so I’m hoping age will be on its side…
I kept the first steep fairly minimal, at around 25 seconds. Fortunately, it’s perfectly smooth with absolutely no bitterness. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour; even the usual brassy sourness is missing! It’s lightly creamy, with a very slight edge of honey, and perhaps the tiniest bit of raw wood at the end of the sip. Pleasant, but not particularly arresting.
I left the second steep a little longer, just to see. I’ve found a touch of bitterness, but really no more than that. The flavour this time was unexpectedly smoky, with a woody undertone that’s quite pleasant. I’m surprised how different it was from the first steep, but I’ll probably reduce the time again for my next.
Third steep for 30 seconds, and the bitterness was again absent. I think there’s a fairly fine tipping point with this one; a case of a few seconds perhaps. The smokiness is present a little, but mostly in the background. For the most part, this is back to the smooth, creamy flavour of the first steep. It’s pleasant, but it’s finicky and lighter in flavour than I expected. On this plus side, no characteristic raw sheng flavour!
Third steep was for around 25 seconds; as the leaf unfurls, it obviously brews more quickly. There’s a tiny hint of bitterness, a touch of smoke, but mostly a raw wood flavour. The creaminess has disappeared. I could continue with this one for a while yet, but it’s time to go home! I may save my leaf and resume tomorrow, or I might move on to something else. I have enough left that I can return to this one in the future if I want to.