Dry leaves smell somewhat fruity, but it’s not a really memorable smell. However, the wet leaf srome is more enticing. There are notes of compost, conifer forest and roasted nuts. In the empty cup I get mosly sugarcane and floral/pollen notes.
The smell is not where the tea wins me over though. It pales a bit in comparison with both the taste and mouthfeel. The taste is a balanced mix of tart, fruity, vegetal and bitter. The main flavours I get are menthol, citrus fruits and papaya, and bread crust. There is definitely quite a bit of astringency around, but I didn’t find it to be stealing the show. The mouthfeel is really lovely – thick, creamy and cooling. The aftertaste is fairly long and transformative. It starts off quite dry and floral, but over time gets really sweet and a little spicy.
Later steeps become very potent as the bitterness hits-in-your-face. They retain the full body still, it’s just a bit harder to pick up nuances of the tea as a result of how strong it is. The tea definitely has something going on in the cha qi department. However, I started this session in a fairly non-standard state of mind so it’s hard to compare to other teas. At first it made me really dreamy, but later I felt like it helped clear my mind from clutter and focus, still inducing a calming state though. I also got a tingling sensation down the back of my neck.
This is my favourite sheng I have tried so far in the ~0.1$/g category and it is comparable to the best ones from the 0.2$/g category I got from YS. Highly recommended, given the price/quality ratio. Personally, I will be aiming to get a cake in my next YS order.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Citrus Fruits, Compost, Creamy, Flowers, Fruity, Menthol, Roast nuts, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tart, Thick