For the past few years, I have maintained the opinion that Huang Pian is only suitable for shou – I am just generally not a huge fan of how it tastes as sheng. I tried the 2016 version of this tea a while back and was not particularly impressed. Perhaps my mind is more open now than it was then, or 2017 is a better version of the tea. Whichever it may be, I liked it a lot more than I remember liking the 2016.
After a rinse, the tea smelled beany, or like sweet peas, with a touch of acidity and maybe some other green vegetal notes. Normally, huang pian sheng turns me off with a bit of a strange acidic note that I can best describe as tasting a little bit “raw” or sour in some way. I didn’t really get too much of that here. The taste was beany and crisply vegetal, with light barnyard and floral hints here and there. Rather sweet. Overall the flavor and body were relatively light though. On some steeps, I did note a bit of sourness in the corners of my mouth, but it was not unpleasant at all.
This certainly is the most I’ve enjoyed an HP sheng that I can remember, so it makes me want to go back and try the other couple that I have kept around. I really wish I was more into these Alter Ego bricks, because the cat-centric artwork is fantastic. That said, I still think HP should all be turned into shou ;)