The last of the Basics set! I finally get to try an aged sheng. :) This cake has the darkest leaves so far, and the leaves (both dry and wet) have a musty aroma so you can definitely tell it’s aged. The tea brews up darker in colour than the others, more amber than yellow/gold. That musty note is definitely there – not the wet earth / forest floor impression that I get from shu puer, but something that reminds me more of old books, like the smell of a second hand bookstore. In early steeps, there are hints of that fresh zingy quality from the fresh sheng, but muted and smoothed out. It has a definite coating sensation in the mouth and throat, but that is also smoother and gentler than in the other cakes. It’s a bit warming in the stomach, and makes me feels relaxed. In later steeps, the bitterness and astringency ramps up, more similar to the younger teas, but the musty, aged quality is still there. There is a bit of sweetness or something in the aftertaste, but I don’t really get any fruitiness from this one at all. The back of my throat feels really coated, but my cheeks don’t feel all dried out from the astringency. I’m starting to get that mineral flavour that I remember from later steepings of the fresh sheng as well. Neat.

In conclusion, this “intro to puer” tasting set has been super interesting and lots of fun. I definitely recommend it for any puer beginners out there. :)

Flavors: Grass, Mineral, Musty, Sweet

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Well it has been over a year and everyone I know thinks my tea obsession is a bit out of hand, so… I guess I’m not a total newbie anymore. :)

I’m drinking a lot more pure tea these days, though I still love a good flavoured blend too. Current favourites: Chinese and Taiwanese blacks, fresh Chinese greens, oolongs both green and roasted, sheng puer.

I really love companies that buy directly from tea farmers, and have an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Favourites: Verdant, Whispering Pines, Eco Cha, White 2 Tea. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so I buy almost all my tea online.

For hot tea, I’m usually brewing in either a 100ml gaiwan, or a 10oz mug with a steeping basket. For cold tea, I cold brew overnight in 500ml mason jars.

My cupboard on Steepster doesn’t include small samples, just the ones I have at least 15g of. So if you see something you’re interested in, I probably have enough to share. :)


Northwestern Ontario, Canada

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