I read some glowing reviews on this one so I picked up a 25g sample from YS on my last order. I used 8g in a 150ml gaiwan. My portion was near the center punch, but the compression was loose and it broke up easily without breaking any leaves. Steep times were something like 10s, 5s, 10s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 45s, 60s but I didn’t specifically keep track. Initially I noticed a honey flavor and a vegetal flavor that seemed to balance each other out. In the first few steepings a noticed a strong apricot aftertaste which I liked, but it was only there the first few steepings. Great mouth and throat feel, and not much bitterness or astringency. I noticed as the steepings progressed the honey flavor and vegetal flavor were initially pretty distinct, but began to blend together and became more one smooth flavor. The fully brewed leaves were mostly intact, medium size, and gorgeous!
The description on YS said this one had less cha qi than other similar teas buuuuuuuut I disagree! I was doing some cleaning up in between cups when the cha qi hit me. It was very grounding, centering… I became more aware of my joints in motion and my movements. A very “in body” experience. This was a nice contrast as a lot of sheng pu erhs produce more of an “out of body” experience for me. I was even having a little trouble typing this up due to it’s effects.
I really liked this tea, but the $120 price tag as of writing this is a little steep but for a high quality sheng with 11 years already on it what do you expect. I’m on the fence about getting a full cake for long term storage. I’ll finish the rest of my sample in 2 more sessions and then decide. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one found its way into my collection.
Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Vegetal