Surprisingly orange already for a 2014 sheng, the wonders of humid storage, I guess? Opens up with a hint of smoke and a distinct trace of Chinese medicinal taste that I think will grow stronger over time. It has a good amount of throat coating feeling as well as returning sweetness, although not initially sweet at all (unless you let the liquor drop to almost room temperature).

I brewed this gently at 205 degrees (prewarmed everything and one 5 sec rinse) which pushes out some noticeable astringency, but also a stronger medicinal taste if that’s your thing. I dislike astringency above all, so I opened the lid while brewing and after to cool down the overall temp and that dry teeth feeling. Not much bitterness and nice depth to explore with a leathery taste and feeling as the main character. I think this will be interesting to try again in a few years but it is quite drinkable now, although more dry feeling than I personally like.

Flavors: Herbs, Leather, Medicinal, Smoke, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Favorite Tea Type: Darker oolong and sheng puerh

Rating Scale:

90-100: Amazing. Will buy and keep on hand all the time if finances and circumstances allow.

80-89: Strong argument for keeping it around all the time, even more than the prospect of trying more new tea. It’s that good.

70-79: Pretty solid. Glad I tried it, several factors that were unique or that I highly enjoyed.

60-69: Nothing that stands out for the most part, but with a quality or two that speaks to me.

50-59: Fairly run of the mill, pleasant but not much more to be said.

40-49: Something here is off putting in an otherwise decent tea.

30-39: There are a few things wrong with this tea. I did not enjoy.

20-29: Disliked this, could maybe see something, some redeeming quality in it others might find worth drinking without spitting back out.

10-19: Begin to question whether any tea is actually, in fact, better than no tea.

0-9: This causes actual food poisoning.



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