268 Tasting Notes
Wow! This is a very high quality sheng that hits all the right spots for me.
Brews a medium-dark yellow, noticeably darker than most of the other 2016 sheng I’ve been tasting. Smells of spice, honey and reminds me a bit of bag balm/tiger balm. Like the aroma the taste is spicy with prominent notes of mushroom and aromatic wood like pine and cedar. Honey, grain, stewed veggies, fresh spring water, and herbal medicine with a hint of something floral. The brew is thick and viscous, very potent and moderately bitter. It’s very complex and active in the mouth with a cinnamon-like pungence. The qi is noticeable very early on and makes my face and cheeks feel flush and tingly. Five grams lasted many brews and about a liter of water. The brewed leaves are plump and an attractive olive green with thick veins and stems like spaghetti noodles.
This is a very potent tea with a nice balance of bitter and sweet as well as a complex, never boring flavor profile. I tend to be kind of stingy when purchasing tea, really struggling to spend over $50 on a cake, but this is a tea that I will happily spring a little extra for.
Flavors: Cedar, Floral, Grain, Honey, Medicinal, Mineral, Mushrooms, Pine, Spices, Vegetables, Wet Rocks
Brews up a medium-dark yellow, and has a spicy and honeyed aroma (though not as honeyed as yesterday’s Wuliang) Taste wise it’s also quite comparable to the Wuliang; honey, mineral, grain, but it’s dryer (as in less sweet, not astringent) and has less honey and bitterness, but a thicker body and a more mineral, spicier, woody-er flavor. After a couple of steeps I start to get strong “qi” feelings of calm and mild tingling on the crown of the head.
It’s a nice tea, but for the price I would go with the Wuliang as it’s quite similar and cheaper.
Flavors: Grain, Herbs, Honey, Spices, Wet Rocks, Wood
My sample is a nice, loosely pressed piece of cake with medium sized green leaves. Smells very “green.”
Brews a medium yellow. This is a medium strength young sheng with medium-low bitterness. Super strong honey aroma and flavor, the bottom of my cha hai smells just like warm honey. Other notes of green wood, clay, wildflowers, and grain/baked goods.
This is a very nice tea, especially for being on the cheaper end of YS’s 2016 lineup. It’s a shame though how pu’erh prices have gone up since I started the habit, I remember when I bought the 2012 Wuliang in 2012 it was only $25-ish.
Flavors: Clay, Flowers, Grain, Green Wood, Honey, Mineral
Brews a very light yellow, tastes of fresh grass and green wood with hints of sugarcane, mushroom, honey, and canned peach. Fairly thick mouthfeel, little bitterness, but some astringency. Moderately but not overbearingly sweet. Mild, pleasant qi feelings. It’s a nice, for drinking now mild kind of sheng but overall fairly generic. I’d recommend it if you enjoy young sheng or greens and are looking for a daily drinker.
Flavors: Grass, Green Wood, Honey, Mushrooms, Peach, Sugarcane
Brews a cloudy yellow-orange. Tastes of raw pumpkin, orange blossoms, and musty basement. It would be ok, expect that it just tastes really flat and one dimensional. Doesn’t last many infusions either. Overall just a very disappointing tea, probably the weakest offering I’ve had from YS.
Flavors: Musty, Orange Blossom, Pumpkin
Opening up the little sample pack I get a strong whiff of “green”. I haven’t had much sheng so young in a while.
This one brews up a bright yellow-gold. Prominent mushroom and fresh mint notes with some green wood, dried herbs, and raw winter squash. Moderately thick mouthfeel with just a bit of bitterness and astringency. As I steep on it gets more honeyed and herbaceous and reminds me a bit of the mead that I tried at a restaurant recently. I get some warm, mellow, floaty qi feels. This is a potent tea that goes many brews.
This is a nice and unique young sheng. I’d like a little more bitterness and strength out of it for aging purposes, but it’s nice, mellow, and potent and the mint and mushroom combination is really nice. Depending on how I like the other samples this might be a cake for me.
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Honey, Mint, Mushrooms
Brews a medium yellow, pretty light for it’s age. Moderately bitter, but quite astringent. Prominent woody oak note with hints of toasted grains, kale, and honey, as well as the alcohol-like taste of many young factory produced shengs. Good lingering flavor/aroma in the mouth, it’s lightly sweet and floral. As I steep on it gets more of a honeyed sweetness and I get I mild qi feeling in my forehead.
Somewhere I heard someone describe Wu Liang teas as “sunny” tasting, and this one fits that description. Kind of like walking through a lightly wooded field on a sunny summer day.
It’s a nice tea, but the strong astringency is somewhat off putting. Not one I need a cake of.
Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Grain, Honey, Kale, Oak wood
A new Vietnamese restaurant opened up near my house, so today I stuffed myself with pho! It was quite good too. There’s two other pho places relatively close by, but this one was by far the best. On par with some of the ones I used to eat at in Orlando.
The dry leaves are nice and aromatic, brews an almost clear yellow-green. Very buttery and chestnut-y and fresh with a hint of fruit and floral aroma. Moderately sweet but more savory. Later steeps are more mild and some minerality becomes apparent.Dragonwell used to be one of my least favorite greens, and while it’s still not my favorite, it’s really growing on me lately.
Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Fruity, Mineral, Vegetable Broth
A very buttery and somewhat marine tasting green. Moderate peachy sweetness with moderate-high astringency for a green tea. Slight floral aroma that lingers in the mouth. A pretty nice green, but not my favorite from YS.
Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Marine, Peach
This is a very cute tippy little cake, and the youngest ripe I’ve ever bought. I’m a sucker for most of YS’s year of the monkey wrappers. Though if there was ever a year of the red panda I’d buy ALL the cakes! Unfortunately they’re not in the zodiac. Is there somewhere that I can file a petition to have them added?
Brews a nice red brown. The first couple steeps are very funky. Not Bootsy Collins funky, but pretty funky nonetheless. After four rinses I take a sip. Wow! Not what I expected from a young ripe. Nice camphor, mushroom, spice, and a slight fruity apricot note with a brown sugar sweetness. Creamy in the mouth, though not as creamy as the Green Miracle. Reminds me of the 2007 Yong De organic ripe that I’m very fond of and soon to run out of.
This is a very nice tea, give it a few years to let the funk fade out and I think it will turn into something great.
Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Camphor, Mushrooms, Spices