This is a giant ball of tea!
It’s very walnut-y, and reminds me of chewing on a pistachio skin. You might think this would also make it bitter, drying and overly tobacco-ey. Not so! In fact, it is very creamy. As you move through later steepings, it reminds me more and more of some sort of whipped, creamy nut-flavored ice cream.
I am very very excited to see what this will turn into as it gets older. I’ve still got half of a ball hidden away and out of my reach so that I can see how things get creamier and more whipped.
If you haven’t made this before, start with less leaf than you might with other teas. The tastes are definitely assertive, and if you pack your gaiwan or teapot too full of leaves, you might be overwhelmed in the first steeping or so (this is especially true if you’re making the tea for people who are in the mindset to dislike tea because “all tea is nasty and bitter and drying..bleh!”).
That being said, I wouldn’t ever agree with someone who calls this bitter. I’ve even tried making this in a big pot as an experiment; I feared this would become temperamental brewed in a big pot, but I was wrong!
A fun sheng to try now, especially for fans of bolder flavors.
An exciting tea to age for the future, especially with it’s notable creamy flavors and textures. I’m telling you, whipped nut butters…