I tend to like bitter sheng and this one is no exception. There is substantial complexity, although the profile is not exactly my favourite. It has a full body and an active syrupy mouthfeel that’s not overly heavy. Also, the tea has a relaxing, almost sedating effect on the mind and a clear chest warming quality.
The dry leaf aroma is fresh, but not too green anymore. There are hints of apple as well as honey. After the rinse, I get a sense of hot hay, apricots, oats, and black cardamom. In terms of pungency it’s about average for sheng of this age.
The rinse itself tastes of seeds and vegetable oils with a citrusy finish. First steep is mostly sweet at first, but the bitterness gradually intensifies and peaks in the aftertaste in fact. It is a little metallic and flowery, while the next one is more herbaceous. Third infusion is now quite bitter. It is a herbaceous (wormwood) and slightly medicinal kind of bitterness. Subsequently, I also detected various flavours of parsnips, sugar, tobacco, fish skin, nuts, burnt butter, and mild woody ones towards the end.
As for the aftertaste, once the bitterness fades a bit, one can experience notes ranging from white wine (riesling), orange zest and vanilla all the way to sunflower seeds and black pepper.
Flavors: Absinthe, Apricot, Bitter, Burnt Food, Butter, Cardamom, Citrusy, Floral, Flowers, Green Apple, Herbaceous, Herbs, Honey, Hot Hay, Medicinal, Metallic, Nutty, Oats, Parsley, Sugar, Sweet, Tobacco, Vegetal, Wood