From the Pu’erh Plus TTB.
Used a ceramic gaiwan. This session was all over the place. Too bad I only had 4.2g to experiment with – I wanted to enjoy this as much as I could. I changed the brewing temperature twice – beginning with boiling, then to 200, lastly to 185 – because I thought an 11-year old sheng would do better with a hotter temperature. But the liquor was dark yellow and the amount of bitterness exceeded my expectations. Dry storage, it is then.
Five second rinse. Three minute resting period (looked pretty compressed, but loosened pretty quickly). Steeping times: 5 seconds, 5, 2, 2, 5, 8, 8, 10, 20, 30, 45; 1 minute, 2, 4, 8, 15.
At first, the dry leaf aroma has a sour note of pickled something (closest, red peppers), then sweetened to honey and cooked brown sugar. The wet leaf aroma is smokey and grassy, becoming lightly fruity later in the session. My tasting cup and the gaiwan lid held onto this fruitiness for much of the session.
212 degrees, infusions 1 through 5. Bitter, herbaceous. Only the first cup has huigan. The soup starts to have a thick texture with the fourth.
200 degrees, infusions 6 through 9. Texture is much thicker. Energetic mouthfeel. Still quite bitter and herbaceous with just a touch of sweetness underneath. Not much huigan.
185 degrees, infusions 10 through 16. The soup goes through the most evolution in this strand. The intensity of flavor has lightened. Tastes bitter but doesn’t feel bitter. The herbaceous note is still present and I also get some tobacco. The aftertaste is citrus zest. Abruptly (beginning with 13), the soup becomes purely sweet with a more noticeable huigan. Strong note of apricot until the end.
(what I have done to this sheng. oh well, still learning.)