I’m pretty excited to try this young sheng because the scent from within the bag they sent me a sample in is just awesome. Notes of plums, flowers, rain, and loam. I call myself a noob to Puerh, though that’s probably just in comparison to the fanatics. I have probably tried at least 50 kinds, so I mean, I don’t think that’s too few to get an impression of the nature of Puerh, but I will say, I don’t have a firm foothold in what I really like in Puerh, and I think over the last year it may be becoming evident that I’m more into the flavor of young cakes than aged ones. Hmm.
The aroma of the wet leaves after a hot rinse in my gongfu teapot is difficult to describe. It’s got a pretty strong smell of loam and stream water, and reminds me of a forest fresh with summer growth. Lots of leaves, hints of flowers and decaying fruit on the forest floor.
I did a really light first infusion but it already made me say “woooow!” out loud. It’s very floral, but not in a tone that I’m used to with tea. Reminds me of lilacs, fading into a subtle sweetness. The flavor lingers nicely, and the bitterness expected in young sheng is very subtle. There’s a really subtle peppery note in the finish and a lingering honey sweetness.
The next infusion is a bold yellow and the wet leaves still smell sweet and mild, floral. I swear I need to switch toothpastes because I brushed like an hour ago and still feel it is messing with my taste perception a little bit. Overall, this infusion has a rich and more bold flavor, a rich mouth-filling sweetness that to me doesn’t have a really distinct flavor. The bitterness in the finish is more prominent now, but it is a welcome type of bitterness.
The third infusion’s taste reminds me of grapefruit, but in a good way. I can’t stand grapefruit because of its acidity/bitterness, so I don’t really eat them, but I love the smell. I guess this tea tastes like what a grapefruit would (and should) taste like if wasn’t acrid. It has more of a floral than fruity tone to it though, so maybe grapefruit tree flowers, and maybe even a bit like lilac still. Again, there’s a prominent bitterness in the finish, but it is not a harsh kind.
I took some leaves out. Admittedly, I think I was brewing this a lot stronger than I prefer Sheng. On this fourth infusion the flavor is a lot less bold and a lot more sweet and subtle. We’re back to subtle fragrant flower bush territory with just a hint of bitterness.
I really like this tea, especially brewed lightly. It is very rewarding, sweet, and tasty when brewed that way. I would strongly consider purchasing this, but the price for a cake is a bit outside my budget, sadly.
Flavors: Flowers, Forest Floor, Fruit Tree Flowers, Grapefruit, Loam, Petrichor