I’ve gone back and forth on whether I like the wild “ye sheng” varietal. There is a certain mystique about these teas that makes me want to like them more than I really do.
I recently watched an interview with MarshalN done by Crimson Lotus. During this interview MarshalN said that these teas aren’t really pu’er and even went so far as to call it “tisane” and that it’s not really tea at all. Well this certainly wiped away the mystique for me and helped give myself permission to forget about the wild varietal completely.
Then surprise surprise my tea order that was lost in the mail for almost four months has a sample of this tea that I had completely forgot I had ordered. I figured it would be good to drink this tea and evaluate it with a blank slate.
This is the oldest wild varietal tea I have had. And like all wild teas I have had, despite a reputation for being bitter, it lacks real bitterness and instead has a sharp brittle boring thing going on that could be thought of as bitter though is nothing like the true satisfying bitterness that one would find with some Lao Man ‘E or many other teas. The mouthfeel is good. I didn’t really enjoy the taste for the first few steeps though it got better in the mid steeps.
What this tea does have going for it is an immediate and strong body feel. I don’t have much experience with tai qi and qi gong or yoga so I can’t really say definitively though I imagine the cha qi on this tea is strong.
I ended up dumping the leaf and went on to drinking something else if that tells you anything.
I haven’t given up on this tea or the wild varietal completely though I don’t have high hopes. Will try again when the weather is warmer.