I received this as a sample from a fellow connoisseur, Joe. (Thanks for the hook up by the way, man!) This is my first time having this, and I’ve been meaning to pick up a brick for a while now. So, with my first attempt of brewing this, I used a little bit too much leaf, not realizing how strong this was. I tend to use a bit more with Aged Sheng because I really like to as much camphor out as I can. Anyway, I had to reduce the amount by about half, and it without fail helped preserve the flavor. Right away this gives you a punch in the face. This sheng is quite strong, and with it being 13 years old, it is a decent “middle-aged” puerh. You get the same astrigency, and bitter tannins you would with a young fresh sheng, and the smokey, dusty, camphor taste you get with an aged. It really is a mix of the two. I didn’t catch any mineral flavor, to my disappointment.
I brewed this in my sheng yixing, at boiling for about 7 seconds each infusion up to about the 9th where I tripled the steeping time. Two 4 second rinses. After about the fourth infusion, there are notes of malt, barely, tobacco, and an aftertaste of what I caught as strawberries?
This was a very enjoyable tea, but there are quite a few flavors and notes I can’t really pinpoint. I think with this session I can probably get maybe a dozen more, but for now I’m gonna let the leaves rest a bit and try this again tomorrow. Maybe I can get more of review out of this.
I feel this could be an absolutely amazing experience if this tea sits and ages again for maybe another 6-7 years. It seems it may be similar to the 1982 Menghai I had a while back, if left in dry storage long enough.
I’ll give another review on this tomorrow once my pallet is a little more open.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Camphor, Dust, Malt, Roasted Barley, Scotch, Smoke, Strawberry