The dry leaves have a very pleasant sweet, sort of grassy aroma. Wet, they smell of sweet currants or raisins.
Steep – Time – Notes
1st – 10s – Should have gone 15s on this one or added more leaves to the pot but past experience has made me reticent to do that sometimes because the tea ends up too astringent for too many steeps and I get a bad first impression of the tea. This cup is pretty light in both taste and body. Sweet grassy notes in taste.
2nd – 15s – A bit more bite (astringency) which I like when it has the sort of sweet finish that this cup has. It has a more full, round mouthfeel with more body. These are the characteristics I’m usually looking for in a sheng pu’erh, especially a MaHei sheng.
3rd – 15s – Sweet, grassy, with a dry finish and a lasting sweet aftertaste.
4th – 60s+ – Accidental oversteep as I had to step away. Luckily the astringency isn’t overpowering, it just shows up earlier as a slightly bitter note one would find with black tea. However, the sweetness is still there in the aftertaste and I’m noting it at the back of the throat more as well.
5th – 45s – Rather weak. No bite. Should have steeped longer after the previous oversteep.
6th – 60s – Sweet dry finish is back. It’s more of a subtle sweetness. A good everyday sort of sheng pu’erh. Not picking up any fruity notes, but noticing more sweetness at the back of the throat.
7th – 180s – I wasn’t sure on the previous two steeps, but the first few sips have a faint green medicinal note. I wouldn’t call it camphorous, but whatever it is it’s gone after a couple of sips and yields into full body sweetness again. If I’m careful not to draw comparisons, this is actually a pretty good tea.
8th – 180s – Same a previous though the sweetness is lessened and the finish is a bit drier.
9th – 300s – Still some color and soft, semi-bland sweetness. I think the leaves are done here.
Have to try this one again as I generally like MaHei sheng pu’erhs… this of course before YQH came along and ruined everything with truly amazing taste, qi and leaf performance.