Time for my first-ever sheng (and really my first-ever puerh)! Sarsonator sent me a surprise sample along with a note that we should do a tasting together. So hooray! The leaves are large and fluffy and lightly colored. They have a pleasant hay or autumn leaf smell, maybe with some fruitiness included. Time for some gong fu!
Method: 4g tea in 4oz water, 212 degrees, 5s rinse/5/5/10/10s
Rinse (5s): Smells like a pond! I taste dried stonefruit, autumn leaves, very sweet!
Steep 1 (5s): autumn leaves, dried apricot, golden raisin, lightly vegetal
Steep 2 (5s): fruit leather, raisins/prunes, mild autumn leaves, roasty
Steep 3 (10s): very roasty, autumn leaves, sharply vegetal, astringent
Steep 4 (10s): roasty, autumn leaves, dill, parsley, slight floral, buttery
Steep 5 (10s): similar to 4 with some fruit leather
Steep 6 (15s): similar to 2 (dried fruit, autumn leaves)
Steep 7 (20s): light autumn leaves, herbs, citrus
Steep 8 (30s): fruit leather, sweet, leaves
Steep 9 (60s): surprisingly not that strong or different, similar to 8, astringent
Steep 10 (2m): deeper fruit leather, autumn leaves, astringent
Overall, there wasn’t that much flavor variation between steeps, which makes me think that Sars’s method of combining steeps into a mug may be better suited to this, or even a western-style steep. The flavor was largely fruit leather (which is like concentrated dried fruit) and autumn leaves with a roasted edge. Quite yummy! The only issue I found with long steeps was some astringency, but that may have not been the case if I’d done a long steep at the beginning. Thanks to Sarsonator for the sample and for trying it out with me! :D
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Herbs, Roasted, Sweet