I love to drink sheng. I’m a fa-sheng-ista!
But sheng is not my favourite tea to review cause I always get taken by it, in the moment. It’s hard for me to analyze and think about anything…Just want to let the tea take me to wherever it wants to…
I love Mao Cha, what cakes are made of…
I won’t comment on each steep cause that’s not the way I review my tea. But because some have requested I write details on the way I brewed it (cause apparently it can be a little finicky) here are my parameters. I actually counted the seconds this time :-)
7g, 5oz gaiwan, water temp. 175F
Steep 1) 20 sec.
Steep 2) 30 sec.
Steep 3) 40 sec.
Steep 4) 60 sec.
Steep 5) 90 sec.
Steep 6) 90 sec.
Steep 7) 120 sec.
This type of tea is light in weight and takes a lot of room. The leaves are so long, they barely fit in the gaiwan. First, the dry scent. Smells like some kind of smoked lemonade. Yes, smokey and citrusy. Interesting. When I say smoke, let’s be clear: it’s very subtle.
Oh, the first few steeps are very sweet and “melony” juicy with a fresh mouthfeel. I find some echo of yesterday’s campfire wood if that makes senses. You know, that scent you get in the air the next morning when you camp? It renders a light smoked dampness in the mouth.
It’s creamy and a little salty and nutty. In some ways, it does remind me of high mountain oolong.
I must talk about the fragrance exuding from the wet leaves. It triggers memories of late August summer nights after a hot afternoon…when the warmth of the day collides with the coolness of the night. Yes, this tea smells like August, and it leaves an imprint of late summer nights as I drink it. I do realize it must sound plain weird to you,but it means a lot to me…that’s how cha qi kicks in for me. Memories.
The later steeps are not as sweet, a nice light astringency is building up. I say nice, cause to me, the right dose of astringency in sheng is a good thing. It’s bright and awakening.
What I identified as being melon earlier is now morphing into grapefruit. I also get more saltiness, a “brothy” feel, umami.
Cedar and camphor are present at the end of the sip.
I’ll be stopping here, cause I just want to enjoy the rest peacefully and stop taking notes.
This is a special one. It made me feel something…that’s what I seek when I drink sheng.