I’ve already brewed this one a time or two, but didn’t take many notes. I was particularly interested in this one because it is from a famous name factory and it is a raw sheng, not a ripe shu.
I started with little more than I really wanted—that’s the way the beeng broke—4.2 grams into a 75mL gaiwan. Rinsed with boiling water for a good 20 seconds, because the beeng was fairly tightly compressed. Giving it a couple of minutes to hydrate before the first infusion.
A first infusion at 200+ degrees and 20 seconds was a bit unpleasantly strong, as I was forgetting the very concentrated starting material. Should have broken it up into smaller bits, because this really is too much tea for the gaiwan. Regrouping with a 10 second infusion (measuring to the start of the pour from the gaiwan), now the flavors are still strong, but the sweetness is more apparent, along with earthiness and a hint of smoky. The liquor is a pale amber. And because it is infused in boiling water, I have to remember to wait, to not burn my tongue—brewing cooler green, white, and oolong teas there is no such wait required, and it’s hard to discipline myself when the first sips are so nice. 2nd infusion is earthy/sweet/smoky/caramel/vegetal. 3rd, 4th, 5th are very similar, as long as I remember to keep them extra short because of the excess of leaf.
The leaves are fairly broken up, a medium olive green with hints of reddish tints here and there.
I’d recommend a more typical 1 gram per ounce/30mL leaf to water ratio, short infusions with hot water, and a good long time available to enjoy the many infusions from this tea. It is a stronger than my favorite white bud sheng puerh, earthier with more astringency, a deeper rounder flavor overall.
Quite a nice tea, and one that I think I will keep checking in on from time to time, to see how it matures. That’s in part because I currently have more puerh than I can drink in a reasonable period of time, but also because it’s a famous label tea that I expect to be able to find information and comparisons for in years to come.