73

If I had to introduce somebody to the world of puerh, and this person had sheng-y trepidations, Hidden Song would be first pick. It’s friendly, mild and sweet with some throaty astringency and light bitterness. The warmed/rinsed leaf has an aroma of cooked sweet blackberries, an umami that lies along a meaty-beany spectrum, dusty florals and old books, moderate flat smoke. The fruity aroma drops away in the brew, leaving a viscous soup that tastes like sweet yellow bean paste with hints of those dusty florals and old books, both of which later become dominant. Some mild, well integrated lemony sourness on the sides of the tongue also makes a presence. A tea difficult to screw up.

If you’re brand new to puerh, I’d highly suggest this tea. The lower score is only my personal preference.

Flavors: Beany, Blackberry, Dust, Floral, Lemon, Meat, Mineral, Paper, Smoke, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Ubacat

I’ve never seemed to advance beyond the beginner sheng because I drink light teas most of the time (green , white, light oolong). I got into pu-erh a few years ago and got a few cakes but as they aged , I liked them less instead of more. These days I only buy sample sizes of any Pu-erh I like and try to find the ones most like a green tea with lots of fruitiness.

derk

It sounds like you found what works for you :) Crimson Lotus offers a lot of sheng that I think caters to sippers with your preferences. I haven’t found another western-facing vendor yet that sells good quality oolong-type sheng without having to wade through pages and pages… Have you explored Jingmai or Yiwu teas? I’ve found they tend to be soft and sometimes fruity, but I’m still a newb in this vast world of puerh.

Ubacat

I think I did try some of the Yiwu teas a few years ago but nothing appealed to me. Smaller vendors like Crimson Lotus, Mandala, & White2Tea have been my best choices for finding what I like. This year I got the 2018 Sampler pack from Crimson Lotus and there’s quite a few I like in there so far.

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Ubacat

I’ve never seemed to advance beyond the beginner sheng because I drink light teas most of the time (green , white, light oolong). I got into pu-erh a few years ago and got a few cakes but as they aged , I liked them less instead of more. These days I only buy sample sizes of any Pu-erh I like and try to find the ones most like a green tea with lots of fruitiness.

derk

It sounds like you found what works for you :) Crimson Lotus offers a lot of sheng that I think caters to sippers with your preferences. I haven’t found another western-facing vendor yet that sells good quality oolong-type sheng without having to wade through pages and pages… Have you explored Jingmai or Yiwu teas? I’ve found they tend to be soft and sometimes fruity, but I’m still a newb in this vast world of puerh.

Ubacat

I think I did try some of the Yiwu teas a few years ago but nothing appealed to me. Smaller vendors like Crimson Lotus, Mandala, & White2Tea have been my best choices for finding what I like. This year I got the 2018 Sampler pack from Crimson Lotus and there’s quite a few I like in there so far.

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Trades are on hold until I work through a bunch!

[Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy. Message me if you want to try something :)]

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng and shou puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, Laoshan green. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes.

I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog or matcha latte. I generally steep a tea until it has no more to give.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings. Just nothing cloying especially banana, caramel, coconut, cinnamon or maple. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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