If you love sweet sheng, this is your ticket.
Dry leaf has that silvery look of another sheng I’ve had from Mengku (Lincang) and is fragrant with apricot, peas, powdered sugar, vanilla, cream. Warming the leaf brought out notes of peach preserves, spun sugar, pudding, beeswax, honey. The rinsed leaf smelled heavenly sweet, creamy and fruity with a buttery peach-apricot pastry and light florals and herbs floating around.
Gotta say, this tea shines with its texture. Incredibly oily, smooth as hell. It sits low in the mouth and slides down the tongue, lubricating every bit in the process. Seems astringent, but the oily coating keeps the astringency at bay. I can feel it deep and warm in my chest and belly. It’s a Lincang tea, and the cooling properties of puerh from this region are very evident in the mouth and body. There’s an interesting mix of warming and cooling in the body with this tea.
On top of that, this has to be one of the sweetest sheng I’ve had. The aroma-flavor reminds of vanilla powder, which has maltodextrin as a base. A very persistent honey-beeswax aftertaste coats the back half of the mouth, lots of retronasal activity. Perhaps related to that — I could feel pressure in my sinuses, eyebrows and cheekbones. Unfortunately, I think the aroma gave me a sinus headache soon after. Something about me and honey doesn’t mix well. An intense calmness swept over me and my body felt heavy yet fluid and airy, a mix of that warming-cooling effect.
With the fourth steep some bitterness and astringency came in, a nice relief from the intense sweetness. The tea remained thick and coating with buttery tastes, honey sweetness and a growing floral presence.
Around the ninth steep, I noted a stronger bitterness and a pungency like thyme. Some roughness on the tongue. The tea continued to become more astringent and I called it quits with the 13th steep due to sinus pressure but there were still flavors and mouthfeel that suggested there was more to give.
Overall, I think this tea’s qualities justify the current price of $0.56/g, though that’s for you to determine. It’s a powerful tea — I used only 5g/100mL for a very rich brew, when my standard is 6-7g. The oily, cooling mouthfeel and the way it sits in the body are incredible. Grab a sample if you like young, super sweet honey-floral sheng. That said, it’s way too sweet for my preferences.