Smoky sweet and fruity to start. Wet leaf aroma is intense and lovely. Very slight bitterness in early steeps that gets more intense with later steeps. Camphor, spice, and mouth numbness. 4 or 5 steeps in and I have spontaneously begun to sing. The cha qi just about starting to take effect when my wife slides a plate of poached salmon and broccoli sauteed in garlic and olive oil under my nose, and I realize that I am starving.

After dinner I resume my drinking. While I am not normally one for food/tea pairings, I have to say that the chilled honeydew melon I am currently enjoying is a lovely counterpoint to the smokey spice of this hot tea. It’s nearly 8:30pm and I’ll probably regret continuing too much more as I can feel the caffeine and think about running a few laps around the neighborhood. But then I remember that I do not run unless I’m being chased by a bear or a serial killer.

In sum, seeing as I’m still a pu noob this tea is probably the most “aged” sheng I’ve ever had. It’s a bit too much on the smoke/bitter end of the spectrum for me, but I am glad I got to try it.

Apropos of nothing, do professional tea drinkers have to stop and load the dishwasher after their wife makes dinner? #firstworldteaproblems

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For many years I drank cheap asian market-bought oolongs because I really didn’t know what was out there. For the last year or so I’ve been educating myself and making a foray into better quality teas. During the course of my journey I have fallen hard down the puerh rabbit hole – it started with young sheng, but now there’s another even deeper hole in the aged category, and I may be careening down this particular rabbit hole forever. I do still find time for aged oolong, a good wuyi yancha, and the occasional aged white.

I stopped rating teas awhile ago. I guess the numbers stopping meaning anything after awhile. For a long time I was pretty good about keeping my cupboard up to date and reviewing teas, mostly to help me keep track and remember what I like. I’ve gotten lazy about that for the last several months.

The tea addiction has also spawned a new addiction to throwing pottery, and I have become mildly obsessed with making tea cups, shibos, and teapots.


Southestern USA

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