I used a lot of leaf this time, as it was the last bits of my sample and I didn’t want to break it in two light sessions. However, since I didn’t break it up much, it took a while until the leaves properly opened up. When it did though, I got treated with powerful and delicious infusions.
Let’s start with the smell though. Before the rinse, the aroma is quite woody I would say. As the leaves open up during the session, there are more complex and strong aromas unraveling. I still get the woody tones, like pine and sauna. But there is also some smoke and orchid. In the empty cup, I can smell something between a meadow and a field, there are hay and honeycomb aromas too.
The taste is brothy (mushroom), sweet, buttery, medicinal and bitter (mostly due to the amount of leaves I used). There is definitely a strong tobacco note to it that stays in the mouth. Astringency and sourness arrives in the finish, while the long aftertaste is somewhat spicy and has a decent huigan.
The mouthfeel is a mixture of milky and brothy, and with decent thickness. The body is not the fullest, but given the price of the tea, I cannot really complain.
Don’t get fooled by the price! This is a really good tea, not lacking in any way, apart from maybe the body. That’s really a minor point though. The tea has a pungent and pleasant smell; strong, evolving and memorable taste; long aftertaste; ok mouthfeel; and a powerful cha qi. It’s most definitely the best sheng in the ~10 years old category that I have tried thus far.
Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Butter, Hay, Honey, Medicinal, Mushrooms, Orchid, Pine, Sap, Smoke, Sour, Spicy, Sweet, Tobacco, Wood