An Ode to Tea, Q entry! (I am missing a tea for Q, but figured this was close enough…)
I am notably not a big puerh fan so I don’t pull them out often. I also very rarely ever have time for gong fu sessions — the only time I can sit down and drink tea in that style is on my days off of work, which severely limits when I can drink certain types of tea. So I’m finally fitting a session in today, on my weekend off…
This was a sample I grabbed from the final Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thanks to all that contributed to that box and tea-sipper for organizing it! I had 3.4g of leaf so I did steeps using only 70ml of water in my little pumpkin pot.
70ml mini pot | 3.4g | 205F | Rinse/10s/13s/16s/19s/22s/25s/28s/31s/34s/37s/40s/43s/46s
My only experience with sheng so far (I think?!) was a very unpleasant one; it was extremely smoky and bitter/sour. The aroma from my first steep had me thinking this would also be really bitter because it had a strong bitter melon/sour plum sort of scent. But it actually was surprisingly smooth, with a stonefruit fruity taste (plum?), with just a slight mineral note at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. Around the 3rd and 4th steeps a muscatel note joined the plum, but the tea lost its smoothness, gaining a slight bite to it. The fifth steep was an unpleasant anomoly; it tasted how I’m used to sheng pu’erh tasting, with a strong “swamp marsh” taste of wet earth, rocks, and vegetation, with a bitter medicinal taste late in the sip and in the aftertaste. The bitterness went away after that, though, and while the marshy notes remained for a few more steeps, it smoothed out, and an anise-like licoricey note crept into the aftertaste, which I found quite pleasant. The marshiness continued to mellow and some notes of cucumber and melon rind came forth, until it eventually smoothed into a very nice petrichor taste. Late in the session, the tea turned very sweet, and some of the stonefruit came back (more of a light apricot this time), as well as some florality and garden peas. I pretty much never carry a tea through this many steeps, but I was really enjoying this one. I’m left feeling very tea-full though, and am feeling extremely relaxed.
Is this the first pu’erh I’ve really enjoyed?!
Flavors: Anise, Apricot, Bitter, Bitter Melon, Cucumber, Floral, Garden Peas, Medicinal, Mineral, Muscatel, Petrichor, Plums, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Wet Rocks