I think I’ve had sheng before, but it has been so long I don’t remember. And I certainly didn’t remember how to steep it. So I looked up an old Steepster thread and followed the instructions, including a suggestion of mrmopar’s to rest the leaves for 15 minutes after a rinse, and a suggestion by AllanK to start with 5 second steeps. I went 5/5/7/7/10 and after that I sort of improvised: 10/20/30/40/60. I used 2.8g of tea in a 50 ml gaiwan.
I find this tea somewhat fascinating. I was prepared for… well, not really sure what I was prepared for, just not this. The tea out of the packet is compacted into tubular shapes that are mostly dark green but also have some silvery leaves in the mix. They don’t have much of a smell. Mostly just a sort of vague woodiness.
The tea’s color is golden yellow, and its aroma and flavor reminds me first of bamboo shoots, which I think may be power of suggestion. But it is mild and vaguely woody, resiny. It also has a fruity note. Through the early steeps I had it pegged as pineapple, because it had a bit of a sharpness to it (not very sharp, just slightly) but over time that filed off and it reminded me more of another tropical fruit. Mango, maybe.
No bitterness, and a sort of non-sugary sweetness on the tongue. It doesn’t feel like pop rocks, but something about how it tasted reminded me of them. I also thought of linen and cloth fibers while drinking this. Part of that was probably because of the color.
It has a pleasantly fresh, but unobtrusive aftertaste.
I didn’t pick this to taste today because it said it was good for beginners. I picked it at random. But the fact that it says it is good for beginners is a happy accident.
I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to further experiments.
Flavors: Bamboo, Mango, Pineapple, Resin, Wood