I brewed this one up with 6g in a 100ml Gaiwan at a bout 200f. I gave two rinses….one at about 100f then another at 140f then let it sit for a bit. I have just started trying this rinse method and have gotten better results than my usual rinses with brew temp water. First off I would like to say that I have not been having a very successful exploration of shengs, this being my first year drinking them. My biggest problem has been the astringency of the younger shengs and the price of the older ones. I have found a few that I like but none that have blown me away…yet. That being said I went into this cake without much confidence as I noticed some reviews from people saying that this one was too bitter for them. I have learned during the sheng voyage of the last year that reviews should be taken with a grain of salt as not everyone is brewing the tea optimally and or have a different palate. A bitter review can mean over brewing sometimes. I feel this was the case with this tea. I REALLY enjoyed this session. The smell of the wet leaf is nostalgic and sweet. The kind of smell that takes you back to somewhere but not quite sure where. The tea has a wonderful viscous mouthfeel with a great returning sweetness. I can say that there are definitely bitter notes in this tea. But this was the first tea that gave me that AHA moment in reference to not understanding when others say a tea has a pleasant bitterness and not astringent. That was this tea. This type of bitterness is not unpleasant and actually makes the sweet notes even better. The leaves were very big as well as the stems so I am feeling this was from an older tree. I ran out of water before really reaching the end of the leaves. I was water logged after 1 liter of tea consumption so I bowed out gracefully with one last steep of about 2 min and it was still delicious. This is a great sheng to me and I imagine it will get even better but hopefully it doesn’t lose some of the character that makes it enjoyable to drink now. So the lesson learned was don’t go by reviews only when searching for a tea. Brew it up your way and see how your taste buds receive it. I think this is a great tea and would recommend it but as I said, try it for yourself and see if it fits your palate.
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Sweet