13 Tasting Notes
A consistent winner from What-cha and a great tea to introduce anyone into Taiwan oolongs. This has been a staple in my pantry for a couple of years now and I am still not tired of it. I like that the mouth feel ramps up quickly.
Full review at Tea Spren http://wp.me/p6ZNcy-z
Received a sample of this as part of the Sheng Olympiad of 2017 and pretty fricking happy with this one. Started out with some meatier flavors up front giving way to stonefruits. Later steeps lose the meaty notes, but in a good way that lets the rest of the flavors blossom. Gave it a 5s rinse followed by a 15s steep and increased by 10s after that (Bitterleaf recommends 5, 5, +5).
Flavors: Meat, Smoke, Stonefruits, Umami
This small cake has a good bit of compression, but I find that breaking chunks off works just fine and it opens up in the teapot quite readily. Prevalent pepper notes in the front give way to a fruity aftertaste. Unlike any other young sheng I have tried, likely won’t be for everyone. Am happy to finish up the cake, but at the same time I don’t know if I will be buying more.
Flavors: Fruity, Pepper
Middle of the road sheng. I think this provides more character than the 2015 Little Walk or MCA. It has definitely improved as it has had time to settle a bit. It has just enough oomph to cause discomfort on an empty stomach, but I find the qi to be mild. It is a good tea. While not the safest beginner sheng in my book, if a newbie is turned off by this it is a good indication they are not going to be a sheng head.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity
Is this real life? I start every Sunday the same way—hop out of bed, eat a banana, and start sipping sheng. Today I broke into this cake for the first time. The qi is immediate. As soon as this hit my throat—scratch that, as soon as it got to the back of my mouth I sat up straight. I am four steeps in and had to use my newly acquired telekinetic powers to float my body upstairs to type this review. Now I must go sell a kidney and use the proceeds to buy as much as I can. Mild bitterness and no stomach discomfort.
Has enough bite to keep me interested and the aftertaste sticks around for a while. All things I like about sheng. The tea is reasonably soft, but still far from the softest Yunnan Sourcing sheng I have had. It is an above average sheng at a ridiculously good price!
Flavors: Bitter, Pear, Vegetal
A middle-of-the-road raw pu-erh ball. Pleasantly bitter. A mixture of fruit and floral, with more of the fruit notes on the nose and more of the floral notes on the tongue. Mildly dry, but with a good mouth feel. Mild aftertaste.
This ball is fairly easy to open up. I would place it between Crimson Lotus Planet Jingmai (harder to open) and White2tea Smooch (easier to open).
1st steep – wash for 30 seconds, poking the ball lightly with the gaiwan lid. Discarded. Left gaiwan covered for 5 minutes.
2nd steep – another 30 seconds, more poking. Ball mostly opened up. I drank this one.
3rd steep – fell back to 20 seconds, more poking, and ball finished opening up.
Added +10 seconds from there on in.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruit Tree Flowers
A crowd pleaser of a middle-aged sheng. I find this tea has less smoke than W2T “Often”. However, I feel that the “Classic Mushroom” has better chaqi. I do a 5sec rinse and increase each steep by 10sec from there, and consistently get 12 steeps out of this. An affordable daily drinker.
Water just off the boil. Two 5 second rinses. Then a 5 second steep and adding 10-15 seconds for each successive steep.
Every time I drink this tea I like it more and more. I prefer my puerh raw and young. This is raw with a bit of age. This is a tea that is selling me more and more on the concept of aged puerh.
There are some slight smokey notes in the initial steepings that are quite pleasant. While they unfortunately go away the later steepings are no less full body. And with an extra 5 seconds here or there it can be quite thick. An underlying sweetness slowly builds, but never becomes too prominent.