You guys, I went to put away the Basics Set and grab something else from my latest White2Tea purchase to try. I looked at the white whale and thought, “yeah, maybe that one”. And then I looked a little closer and saw that in the plastic ziplock along with it was a puer pick! Woohoo, I have a puer pick now! What a thoughtful add-on! (my order must have had “newbie” written all over it) Anyhow, it was definitely necessary, because this brick is tightly compressed. So yay, I was able to chip off 6g for my gaiwan, did two rinses (one quick, one longer, hoping to get the tea chunks to open up a bit), then started with a 5-10sec steep. I found this one actually got intense and a little bitter quite quickly, so I ended up doing a bunch of 20sec steeps in a row rather than going longer with each one, which seemed to help. I might go with less tea next time.
This is a nice aged sheng, with lots of musty and earthy flavours and a cooling bitterness in the late sip / aftertaste that I presume is the camphor. It’s kind of like… taking a walk in the woods after a rainfall… while chewing on pine needles. But in a good way. ;) It’s also fairly smooth, full-bodied, and it mellows out into a bit of sweetness in later steeps. I’m writing this from memory for a tea I mostly drank yesterday, so this review is a bit lacking in detail. I’m glad I have a brick of it, and look forward to giving it another try!
But… how do I store this? The packaging doesn’t really lend itself to rewrapping as well as the cakes do. I currently have it semi-rewrapped and sealed up in the ziplock it arrived in, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a respectful way to store aged sheng. So Steepster, help me out, what should I do? :)