Wildflower meadow dry leaf. The heated leaf smelled like a warm, rich spice bread studded with dried sour cherries and drizzled with a thinned caramel. There was also a cleanliness to that aroma. Rinsed leaf smells like antique wood and aged florals.
Let’s talk about the mouthfeel first. Amazing! Thicker than oil — very pectic. Silky smooth, lubricated the whole mouth. Cooling, only lightly drying. Later developed an acidic-enzymatic feeling like unripe pineapple but still managed to retain that special thick body until I called it quits. The longevity of this tea is impressive. I steeped it over the course of 3 days. The only other sheng that I’ve had such accomplished longevity with was Last Thoughts.
This tea is exceptionally clean. I remember it being sweet but didn’t note it as such; more an impression of sweetness. Light caramel-brown sugar flavor, custard-ish, dry grass, green grape skin, high mineral content turned into a bright-toned brew like apricot and the same unripe pineapple that influenced the mouthfeel. Trace bitterness. The second day, this tea was a fantastic cleansing accompaniment to homemade cardamom-heavy pumpkin pie. Fast-moving tannins. I didn’t notice a returning sweetness until this day. The third day, the leaf steeped out still viscous and cooling with lingering fruity and floral flavors.
In terms of body feel and effects, I became very warm and comfortable with the second steep. My vision developed an orange hue, which sometimes happens to me with shou. By the third steep, a spicy burn developed in my ears and the cooling mouthfeel exposed itself as eucalyptus-like in my chest. With the fourth steep, I was so lost in the way this tea was effecting my perception. Get ready for woowoo. I felt menthol in my spine, moving up and sitting in my cerebellum before creeping up and and spreading across the crown of my head, like the unfolded lotus representation of the crown chakra. I lost sense of time in a most natural way. Nothing about this tea made me uncomfortable. It was like a mother’s love as she cradles her babe. Sleep came easily. (Results may vary!)
This was a delight of a sheng and one that relies heavily on mouthfeel. While the tea lacks a bit in the aftertaste and also in some grounding tones, it never takes off too high either. If you want to explore just how naturally thick and smooth a teenage sheng can be, I’d highly recommend getting a sample. The price is right. I have no idea how something like this would age, but it seems to be doing just fine in my 2 years of storage. Tea Urchin has fantastic teas and sadly they don’t seem to get much recognition around here.
Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Custard, Dried Fruit, Dry Grass, Eucalyptus, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Menthol, Mineral, Pineapple, Smooth, Spices, Spicy, Tannin, Thick, Vanilla, White Grapes