This is a random sheng from my W2T goodie bag. :) The wrapper it came in had no English clues for me, but did include the number “2008”, so I was wondering if it was another aged sheng, but this doesn’t taste very aged to me. None of that earthy/musty character at all. The wet leaves are mostly an olive green colour, some a bit mottled with light brown, and a few noticeably darker brown leaves mixed in. They are pleasantly aromatic and zingy – even many steeps in, I like sniffing the leaves in my gaiwan after pouring. The tea liquor brews up a light to medium gold colour, and it has a fairly bright, tangy flavour. I kept the bitterness at bay by sticking to 80-90deg water and ~20 second steeps many times in a row. There is a slight softening and complexity (compared to the 2015 shengs I’ve been drinking recently), and I remember getting some interesting muted floral notes about 5 or 6 steeps in, but other than that, not much beyond “hi I’m a sheng!!”. There is the sweet coating on the back of my throat, but not much sweetness in the actual sip. I’m getting a moderate amount of astringent drying on my inner cheeks. Having said that, I keep compulsively steeping and drinking this over and over, so apparently all the bitterness and astringency is no barrier to my enjoyment of this tea, lol. :) I’m actually finding it a bit energizing, which is a nice change of pace from all the teas that keep making me want to have a nap (secondary theory: the time of year is what’s making me want to have naps constantly). I’m so confused by all these bitter/astringent teas I keep drinking, when normally I love me some sweet, smooth, creamy teas (black, green, oolong, etc). Ahhhh, I think I’m being bitten by the puer bug, this is so, so unfortunate, lol.

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Well it has been over a year and everyone I know thinks my tea obsession is a bit out of hand, so… I guess I’m not a total newbie anymore. :)

I’m drinking a lot more pure tea these days, though I still love a good flavoured blend too. Current favourites: Chinese and Taiwanese blacks, fresh Chinese greens, oolongs both green and roasted, sheng puer.

I really love companies that buy directly from tea farmers, and have an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Favourites: Verdant, Whispering Pines, Eco Cha, White 2 Tea. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so I buy almost all my tea online.

For hot tea, I’m usually brewing in either a 100ml gaiwan, or a 10oz mug with a steeping basket. For cold tea, I cold brew overnight in 500ml mason jars.

My cupboard on Steepster doesn’t include small samples, just the ones I have at least 15g of. So if you see something you’re interested in, I probably have enough to share. :)

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Northwestern Ontario, Canada

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