Today was absolutely amazing. The astronomers in Saudi Arabia confirmed last night that the crescent moon was seen, meaning that ramadan is over, and it’s time to stop fasting. In other words, Eid Mubarak! In Celebration I picked out a tea that I have been saving for a while for a special occasion, this tea! It is the first ever aged sheng I have ever drank, and this one did not disappoint.
But first more of my day [Please skip this part if you only want to hear about the tea] I woke up today at 4:00 am for the Eid prayer, the prayer is at 6:30, but I was planning to do it at sultanahmed mosque, an extremely big mosque packed with history (but also packed with tourists). However I took too long getting ready and I left the house at 5:00. This spelled disaster, as the mosque fills up extremely quickly when the call for the first prayer is sounded. I forgot this, and came to the mosque when it was calling for prayer. On a normal day this would have been fine, but this mosque is a very popular one for salat al eid, there was even TV crews at the door filming it live. However, this meant that I could not be in the first row like I was hoping to do, but rather I was about 5 rows back. This was absolutely fine, but the thing is that if you are behind the 3rd row then there are people who come very late but still feel as though they can squish themselves in your already full row, it’s kind of annoying for those at the front rows as those people probably had to wake up extremely early to get that spot, and you just woke up 20 mins ago yet feel as though you fit there. This is exactly what happened to me, a group of 6 syrian men came and fit themselves right in the middle of their row (don’t worry I could tell by their arabic dialect, not being racist or anything haha) sat right in front of me and started to talk during the speech of the sheikh. This was extremely annoying as I could not hear the speech itself, and could barely sit down because it was so squished. But everything was well when Eid prayer was finished, as the whole mosque emptied out. I swear there were only like 3 people inside the whole huge mosque (look up a picture of sultanahmed mosque and you will see why this was so amazing), so I took a corner and watched the sun rise while reading quran. It was so amazing, the mosque was so quiet that all you could hear were the birds in the garden outside. So peaceful. Then I took a walk around the old city near my apartment during peak morning sun, and took some very nice pictures. man why do I have to leave in two days I’m finally starting to love it here!
I have always been wondering what aged sheng tastes like, will it be like a ripe or… But eh, kind of. This tea is like a ripe that is perfect for the spring. A Ripe that is not as heavy, it is light and elegant still with plenty of flavor. It was very nice, but still not at all what I was expecting. I’m sure not all aged Ripes are like this, but this one was very vegetal, like a freshly chopped weeds in the garden type of vegetal.
The first two steepings of this tea were where it shined most. It was very fruity…extremely fruity. The fruits I got were very dark, stone fruits such as plums, and grapes, but this tasted the most like cherries! It was very very nice, and at this stage in the tea it was syrupy and heavy like a ripe, which was so good.
However, the tea lightened up very quickly after the 3rd steeping. It was the lightness of a 8th steeping of a ripe, yet with the flavor of a 2rd steeping of a ripe, very refreshing. However, this is where the fruit started to fade and it became extremely vegetal. By the 5th steeping it became a bit too much, and I decided to take a break.
The qi was nice on this one too, not too much, but yet enough that you can feel it.
Overall, it was a nice tea, and I am extremely excited to try more aged shengs and see what flavor profiles they bring, because so be honest ripe puers are starting to all taste the same!