Sipdown! Thanks for sending me a sample of this tea to satisfy my curiousity, Boxermama!

I wasn’t sure how I should go about brewing this (I always entertain notions of properly gong-fu brewing pu’erhs and other fancy teas)… but rationality won out, and I went with Western-style gong-fu, which is more what I usually do (if not strict Western-style). Hence, a full tbsp of leaf in about 8oz. water (instead of 4 oz.), and a 20 second infusion. And no, I didn’t rinse.

First impression? Wow – this sure coloured/flavoured up nicely with such a short infusion! And the taste? Light, a bit spicy and earthy. And now for a momentous occasion… while sipping, I thought to myself “gee, this sure tastes like a sheng. I wonder what type of pu’erh it is?” And sure enough… it’s a sheng! Woaaaah I can differentiate the two major types of pu’erh! What an accomplishment. (Yes, there’s a bit of self-directed sarcasm there.)

Anyhow, as per usual, I really have no other taste descriptors for the flavour. It’s enjoyable, and it reminds me of other shengs, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have guessed correctly (or likely thought to guess, for that matter). Providing descriptions for things has always been a weak spot for me; while I do think I am capable of tasting nuances in fancy, expensive, delicious teas, I am incapable of describing them. [I’m the sort of person who picks up on off-flavours in various items quite readily.] It’s kind of annoying, but certainly nowhere close to the top of my current list of annoyances, so perhaps sometime in the distant future when my life no longer belongs to my thesis, SAS, my advisor, the university… I will attempt to remedy this. Until then, you get “tastes like sheng” and “tastes like yabao”. Le sigh.

On that note – my memory for flavours is also rather crappy sometimes, and I can’t remember the last time I had a sheng… and so really couldn’t tell you how this ranks up against others. I do enjoy it though!

ETA: Second infusion 30s, stronger sheng flavour, still with a bit of sweetness. I suppose smoky or leathery might be some good descriptors here.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

I totally suck at describing flavours as well. lol, Glad you enjoyed it.


I always get them mixed up!! the names/types of pu-erh heh

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I totally suck at describing flavours as well. lol, Glad you enjoyed it.


I always get them mixed up!! the names/types of pu-erh heh

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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