Dry leaf: Prune, raisin, and figs with an overarching sharp, tart dried cranberry aroma. Very hard compacted dry cake material. Dried hay comes out when leaves are sitting in a warm vessel before brewing and vegetal notes appear after 5 sec. rinse.
Taste: Very light vegetal, seaweed, hay, nice sweetness. Dried cranberry flavor very apparent across all steepings.
Liquor: Bright yellow to gold color.
Spent leaf: Olive to dark olive. No discolorations. Material was fairly broken but it was a tightly compressed sample and took some coaxing to break apart.
Vessel: 125ml clay pot
(Warning folks: This is my very first taste of a sheng and I’m having a good time with it! I’ve waited a long time to get some shengs and am looking forward to drinking through them and reviewing them all. Thank you to Bitterleaf Teas for including this as a free sample in my first order!)
Wow. When I first smelled the dry leaf in the bag, I imagined my nose was inside a bag of moist dried cranberries. The dried cranberry tartness of the dry leaf actually carried over into the cup. I got a nice sweetness and a mouthwatering minerality with no astringency – very pleasant. Overall, I really enjoyed this tea and will adjust my rating/recommendation as my tasting experience expands. Very much looking forward to trying this one again on another day.
Stay tuned for more sheng madness!
03/10/17 Update: I’ve edited my tasting note after a second session with this tea using my dedicated sheng clay pot which I didn’t have when I first tried it. The clay pot plus a little more resting time seem to have made a HUGE difference in the brewing. My first tasting using my glazed gaiwan was ridiculously astringent and not very sweet. I believe time and the use of a clay pot really brought out the true flavors of this tea.
Flavors: Cranberry, Fig, Hay, Mineral, Raisins