When I received this cake in the mail I found Streetshop88 had applied tape directly to the wrapper. The wrapper was damaged getting the tape off. They didn’t send another cake, but the did issue a partial refund and sent me another wrapper in the mail. I got the wrapper in the mail the other day so I figured it was time to try this cake and see if the damaged wrapper was a bad omen or not. It turns out that this is an excellent semi aged sheng. At nine years old it is just at the point when teas often develop an unpleasant taste of leather and tobacco. This tea really didn’t develop those notes. They were sort of there, underneath but didn’t really pop out. There was a definite sweet note of this tea’s youth in the first two steeps, then I didn’t notice any more apricots. Instead there was what I would describe as an aged flavor. Meaning a flavor the tea had developed in it’s storage. These can be good or bad. This one was very good. It was smooth and mellow with a very thick mouth feel. I am not sure what to call this flavor. Maybe chestnuts, maybe mushrooms, hard to describe. In any case it was very good, mildly sweet and very smooth. As to tea color this one had developed an light orange color to it. As to qi, this tea seems to have some. While I cannot use the phrase tea drunk, I am very relaxed right now from this tea. After a long stressful day at work a good tea was exactly what I needed. As to price this tea was a bargain. A 500g bing was only about $50 or so. While there are no claims about this tea being old tree, wild tree or anything else, where ever they got the leaves they did a good job with this tea. This is one of the best raw teas I have bought in a while. It is rare for me to actually like a semi aged tea. They all seem to have developed strong taste of leather and tobacco. This one had not but instead had developed a nice semi sweet mellow taste to it. It was good. It will be interesting to see how this one ages further. Hopefully it will continue to develop good flavors.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 7.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.