This is my first sheng, something that I will definitely need to spend some more time with. It also definitely made me thankful that I tried sheng before going in head first with a cake.
Well, this is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, I really did. thought the whole session there were so many dark notes with vanilla being in front of the crowd. It also had the taste of very dark fruits. I had to add sugar to this tea, because I found that I enjoyed it much more this way. I’m so sorry, but the way that I describe this is as though all of the flavors are in a line, with Vanilla being in front of the line, and something lighter dark along the lines of vanilla following, then a dark fruit taste with a citrus being behind this. Then at the back of the line is the barn yard which definitely came from the smell.
When I first opened the bag there was a very weird smell, something like meat sitting in a barnyard next to a horse. This absolutely terrified me and I thought that I had made a grave mistake. But after a wash and a first infusion this horse and barn walked far away from my tastebuds (not my nose) and I was left in a field of already harvested hay sitting on a hay bail. But with this I was also surrounded by vanilla, lots of it. This tea it encloses your tongue and traps it in this dark taste not too dark. Giving you a pinch of vanilla at first then more and more and more. (forgot to say but these tastes are up to the 3rd infusion) until it is like you are drinking a London fog without any milk at all.
The smell on this tea was the worst part. The taste moves away from the barn, but the smell never leaves the barn. The smell wasn’t as pleasant as it’s amazing taste. But as soon as it hits the mouth the smell runs back behind the fruit taste, and is only present for around a couple seconds then the vanilla and whatever that taste was with it just overpowers. when in my mouth I breathed out of my nose and got nothing, needless to say it is only aromatic when out of the mouth. I believe that this is fermentation, but I’m not sure at all as this is my second puerh ever.
Unlike the sheng that I drank earlier when I felt stressed before drinking this tea, I felt even more stressed after. This may be due to the fact that I am drinking this on the honest day this year outdoors. This tea is definitely one that I would like a lot more in the winter, and I will save it in it’s little bag until then!
Overall this tea hit me in the face with reality of what sheng is. However, I might seem a little bit dull when writing this review because it’s been a not so good day and I was really hoping that this tea would help (I know sheng spoiled me) but my expectations were too high in this category of tea, and it did not meet that. But that’s okay, when looking back on it I really enjoyed this tea’s taste, but I was not a big fan of it’s smell.
[A Day later] Though today (viewer discretion is advised) I woke up with blood all over my face, and pillow. Turns out that one of the teeth that I pulled decided to annoy me today (I had to pull them to make way for braces).
But with that out of the way, I have an intense craving for this tea, and I want to pop the bag open and drink another. I think that my rating was a little low because I drank this in summer, which I think isn’t the time to be drinking such a dark and strong tea. I think that if like now in the early morning it was a little cooler outside I would have absolutely loved this tea. But I still do!
Flavors: Barnyard, Citrus, Stonefruits, Vanilla