Picked this up recently from King Tea on Aliexpress. It is quite good. It had a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. It was noticeable for the first four steeps or so. It was bittersweet at the start. It slowly evolved into something sweet. I think you could call it creamy and their were some notes of chocolate in there. This is a high quality long lasting shou. I gave this fourteen steeps which is longer than a lot of shou will go. Most shou is made from lower quality leaves than this is. Once I started this I knew I would be resteeping the hell out of it. This was somewhat expensive even though King Tea has it for noticeably less than EBay has it, cheaper by about $35 or so. It is real. I checked for the hologram that Dayis all have starting about this time in 2008 and it glowed green, both the outer seal and inner ticket or neifei glowed green. Taste wise it seems high quality too. The initial fermentation taste was not unpleasant or fishy in nature to my taste buds. This is definitely a ripe worth buying if King Tea is still selling it. He had discontinued it before my purchase but when I asked him about it he brought it back. It is noticeably cheaper than the 2007 version that goes for around $115 on King Tea. You may be able to find this cheaper on Taobao but this is one of the few Dayi ripe teas that you are risking getting a fake at. Most ripe is not valuable enough to fake. This one is. This was the best ripe I have had in quite a while. As to qi I can’t say I noticed much, maybe a little. Ripe rarely has any qi. The processing of the ripe tea tends to remove the qi from it.
I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 150ml gaiwan with 13g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec,15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I’d say I could get another three or four steeps out of the leaves at least if I wanted to continue but fourteen steeps is enough caffeine for one day.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet