When it took this out of the bag, it had a definite odor. What was it again?
Ah, yes. Camphor.
This dry leaf aroma is not even messing around. I was briefly concerned I’d accidentally brewed some sort of potpourri by mistake. There definitely was not attempt to hide anything in the name of this tea – it’s old, and it smells like camphor. So far, so good.
Early steeps taught me what the “leather” flavor I’ve occasionally heard mentioned is like. It didn’t make any sense to me as a descriptor not having tasted it before, and now that I have, the mental clouds have parted. So if you haven’t had something you’d describe in that manner, don’t assume it tastes like the rawhide cup in the Stone Age board game smells*.
The taste settled down throughout the steeps, which were many. There may have been a slight hint of storage aspect, but it definitely wasnt strong or overwhelmingly “moist” in nature. Just good humidity that helped the tea age well. It lasted longer than I had expected, since I figured loose sheng wouldn’t have the longevity of a compressed tea. Of course, age may have been the counterbalancing factor here, as I haven’t had much 90s compressed tea. What I suspect may be a product of the loose storage is a relative lack of complexity. Development really didn’t occur much. although every cup tasted quite good, it tasted very much like the last.
However, at the relatively low cost for something of this age, if you like a little camphor in your nasopharyngeal diet, you might do well to pick this up. If camphor is not your thing, one of Wilson’s tuos may hit the spot better – I intend to crack into my XG gold ribbon sometime next month, and will leave a note here when I do.
One thing’s for sure, I’m excited to see what other treats may be on offer from exciting new source of teas!- And the tasting note failure award for most unnecessarily obscure reference goes to….