Opening my sample bag, I was surprised to find that this is an iron cake. Must not have been paying close attention when I added this to my order! The smell in the bag is very vegetal and green like grass clippings. Warmed up in a gaiwan, the smell is thick and pungent, reminiscent of juicy late summer vegetables. It has a sort of heavy sweet tomato vine thing going on. It’s very unusual and doesn’t smell like a typical sheng at all.
Because the compression is so tight, I’m giving this two rinses, each followed by a long standing period with the lid on to loosen up the leaves. This worked okay but I ended up carefully pulling the layers apart by hand to speed things up.
The first steeps are very light but they leave a lingering sweetness in the mouth. Once this tea gets going, it’s quite good. Thick and creamy with a green tea body upfront followed by a lasting grape skin sweetness. It’s fun to taste the evolution of the flavor over the course of 15 seconds or so in the mouth. There’s some very light astringency and bitterness but it’s very tame for puer harvested just 1 year ago.
Flash steeping carried me through 6 or 7 infusions before I had to start adding time. That’s a little bit more than average for me, so that’s pretty good in my book.
This is a fun tea that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone who enjoys green tea or is tired of typical apricoty sheng.
Flavors: Grapes, Summer, Sweet, Thick, Vegetables