From Andrew’s 2016 Sheng Olympiad. This is the first of the Bang Dong samples I’ve tried (maybe in the wrong order!) but I figured I had to start somewhere.
The initial smell is strong fruit and apricot to me, though my unfamiliarity with sheng generally means that this is a common note for me. The first couple steeps brew out with a very present fruit note that lingers in the aftertaste, with a light bitterness and astringency that plays in the mid notes but is not overpowering and makes things interesting.
Later steeps I find get more bitter and astringent, leaving my mouth feeling dry for up to a minute afterward. The apricot taste tends to subside, or is either hiding behind the bitterness. It’s not altogether unpleasant, though—it’s not a “sharp” bitterness, but sort of a “smooth” bitterness. One that I can keep drinking as I study or work, but maybe not one that I’d want to focus on altogether.
I’ll definitely be trying the younger Bang Dong samples soon to see if I can tell the difference!