My second sheng. Highlights for me: apricot appearing in second steep and lingered 10, 15 minutes, longer? (However, I notice other reviews do not mention apricot, so I would at least reconsider things next time). Aroma of horse stable first few steeps. But, already steep 4 was a casual affair for my amateur palate. It was a good experience, part of the educational sample package, but I prefer the other sheng in that package: 2005 “Top of the Clouds,” and I hope to find others, too. I learned that astringency adds dimension and I can open myself to appreciating it along with the flavors.

Steep 1
Aroma: wet hay, horse stable, sweet grass.
Taste: no smokiness, some astringency but not overpowering. Green tea, aftertaste of dried fruit, apricot? Smacking tongue. Pineapple?

Steep 2
Aroma: Even more horse stable.
Taste: gripping astringency, fruit moves forward, enjoyable. Enter apricot. Last 5, 10 minutes or more.

Steep 3 and beyond: gradually fades, steep 4 is already what I call a more casual drinking experience since I am not yet able to distinguish a lot at this point. Maxed out at steep 8 (8 grams/120 ml, one rinse).

Flavors: Apricot, Barnyard, Hay, Sweet, Warm Grass

8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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I have a small tea tray next to me at work (a school), and desk drawers full of small jars and cakes of tea. It seems rather mysterious to many students, some of whom want to try the teas and learn to manage the gaiwan, which perhaps inspires a life-long tea odyssey.


95+ are teas I want to have on hand and buy again. I am willing to pay a higher price than my usual threshold.

90-94 are teas that I highly praise and recommend, and they are welcome additions to my collection. I could buy them again.

80-89 are teas that I am thankful for trying, but I would keep searching for other teas before buying again.

79 or less is indicative of a disappointing tea for me.

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