As I was recording my tasting notes for the 2014 Autumn Mu Shu Cha, I discovered that I have the Spring version as well. I couldn’t resist doing a sequential review.
The difference was surprising. The Autumn tea tasted of straw and wood, with hints of fruit underneath. This tea is all about the fruit. The first steep showed a sweet, tropical fruit flavor with hints of straw underneath. I immediately felt a powerful cha qi, but it is building on a base from the previous tea, so wasn’t sure how much is due to this tea. 2nd steep had the same tropical fruit flavor at the beginning of the sip, but builds up a strong astringency going into the finish, which is dominated by the slightly bitter astringency. REALLY feeling the qi. By the fourth steep, it was still fruity, rich and sweet. There is a bit of wood underneath the fruit that adds depth, much as a bassoon does in an orchestra. Still too astringent in the finish, which detracts from an otherwise really good tea. Still tons of cha qi.
I’m a fan of young sheng, and this one was clearly the better choice for current drinking. It was fresh and fruity, with enough hints of other flavors to be interesting. The Autumn version wasn’t bad, but was just a slightly above average woody sheng. Of course you pay for quality: as of May 2015, this tea was $118 per cake vs $45 for the Autumn.