This is an interesting one. Starts rather vegetal, roasty, smoky even. Reminds me of a spread/dip/chutney that is very popular here in Bulgaria which we call lyutenitsa… good luck pronouncing that. It’s made with roasted sweet red peppers and tomatoes and everyone you ask will tell you that their homemade version is the best (or at least it used to be like that in my childhood, people are oh so busy nowadays).
This savoriness is accompanied by a controlled dose of astringency and bitterness. Be careful with steeping time though. I totally forgot steep 8 or 9 and after soaking for a good 5 minutes or so it was insanely bitter. I drank it all the same, we must not blame the tea for our inadequacies. Anyway, don’t pay me much heed, I’m a sucker for a good negroni… or three, so my taste buds have had some training.
Mid-session this tea takes a sharp U-turn. All the savory goodness is replaced by sweetness, honey, apricots and flowers, something slightly herbal as well. A most intriguing development. The astringency is oblivious to this sudden change of character and keeps diligently to its business, not faltering for an instant.
As for the feeling, I did get a slight buzz but nothing too crazy. I most certainly didn’t believe I could walk on my hands… on the ceiling… blindfolded. Some shengs do make me feel this way. This is not one of those shengs and it’s OK with me.
It was a really pleasant journey.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Floral, Honey, Roasted, Sweet, Vegetal