The reviews of this are so good, I feel kind of nervous. What if it doesn’t live up to the crazy expectations I now have for it? That part of the reason why I’ve left it so long, I think. That, and no bad ever came from leaving sheng a while. It might even be better now than it was before.
While brewing, I get the typical sour, metallic scent I get from most sheng and dislike intensely. It’s one of the things that puts me off; that, and the Teavivre Fengqing from 2006 that actually tastes like that scent. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one.
The first steep does have a brassiness to it, but underlying that is a thick creaminess and a light sweetness. It develops a little in the aftertaste into a definite sugarcane flavour, with a hint of baking flour. I’m hoping the top note of sourness will fade in successive steeps…
Second steep retains most of the metallic/sour/brassy flavour; it’s perhaps even a touch more prominent than it was. The creaminess is developing, however, and there’s still a light sugariness underlying. As it cools, I’m picking up the tiniest hint of menthol. I’m finding that there’s a happy place with this one, where the creaminess is at its peak and the sweetness is most noticeable –it’s not when it’s freshly brewed or hot, and not when it’s cooling rapidly, but somewhere in between. It’s hard to define, but it’s almost like it needs to settle a bit first to be at its best. If you catch it at this point, most of the characteristic “young sheng” flavours are significantly muted…but it doesn’t last long!
Third steep is much improved, with the sourness finally fading. The creamy sweetness prevails, with a hint of flour, but I’m not getting a lot more from it than that.
Fourth steep is very similar to the third. I’m not getting as much from this one as I expected to, but the mouthfeel alone makes it worth drinking. I’ll probably take it through a few more steeps before I call it a day, but I don’t expect too much variation for the new few.
I would try another iteration of this one with a future White2Tea order. It’s one of the more palatable young shengs I’ve come across in a long time, even if it wasn’t quite what I was hoping it would be.