I’ve tried to be open about my tea journey. I am still a beginner, and one tea that has intimidated me is Sheng Pu’er.
I look at a package of Sheng and feel like I’ve been called into the Principals office! (Some people feel this way about ALL Pu’er!)
Because I’m such a chicken, I took a sample of this to share with Joe on Tuesday because nobody would be at the tea shop in the morning. He loves Sheng! (And he would do all the serving)
Steep 1 and 2 were 10-15 seconds long.
The leaves smelled musty like damp concrete.
Steep one tasted thick and salty like whipped butter. I felt a cooling sensation in my mouth but Joe didn’t. (We hurried on)
The second steep was “black-teaish’ (not proper English but I’m quoting) and sweet vanilla-nut. We felt nut oil instead of butter that was a blend of brazil nut and cashew, adding sweetness and some creamy body.
Joe over-steeped the third round at 20 seconds…yuck! This one smelled very sweet like paste, and was super astringent…blech!
Steeps 4-5 were Savory…like dark meat chicken and potato skin. The sweetness and fattiness were gone.
(This was still tasty tea, but the 3rd long pour stripped some of the flavor out.)
We stopped at this point, one of my better experiences with Sheng Puer!
So many prior Shengs have been young, smoky (and somewhat harsh!).
Master Han’s Sheng had body with complex flavor, creamy texture and black-tea quality. I liked it!
The only way to get over being afraid of tea, is to drink it.