189 Tasting Notes
I was worried that this was getting a little dried out because I don’t have a proper pumidor—just a cardboard box in the cupboard! No reason to worry! This has developed nicely, even though it is exposed to humidity only about 5 months a year. The sweetness has come to dominate the bitterness, which was more prevalent a few years ago. It features spearmint and a little smoke and one of the most amazing examples of huigan I’ve experienced in a pu-erh. I have a high tolerance for the narcotic effects of sheng but I’m finding it hard to type at the moment!
I’m getting to the end of this cake and I’ve enjoyed the journey. It started out very light but in the past couple of years the tea has become significantly sweeter and thicker. An incredibly reliable and consistent every day drinker that I’ll definitely miss.
I would be interested to know if anyone has tried this because I found it to be a wonderful surprise! It’s not showing much age (except in later steeps where a bit of smokiness and camphor sneaks in) but it has a sparkling flavor which features a ginger and honey fizzle that morphs into mango and tangerine in later steeps.
Mouth feel is moderately thick and makes my teeth buzz; the soup is sweet and goes down smoothly with very little bitterness. I guess this tea would be considered a teenager, but there’s none of the awkwardness or immaturity associated with that stage of life.
I know I just reviewed this tea but I had to comment again on the buttery mouth feel and the tart lemony bite of this superb tea. I know that for many the term young pu-erh is an oxymoron. But I think youth and age are the yin and yang of the pu-erh experience.
This is the standout from the group of semi-aged raw pu-erhs I recently purchased from YS. The soup is sweet and thick; the stone fruit/tobacco/mushroom flavors are evident but not overwhelming. Some aged shengs are so mellow that they are soporific. This one is robust and invigorating, without being bitter or ashy.
This Sheng performed and tasted pretty much as expected—medicinal, leathery, marginally sweet, concentrating in the back of the mouth/beginning of the throat. I did not expect, however, the level of bitterness I experienced, even with 10 second steeps.
So even thought this is a perfectly serviceable semi-aged raw pu-erh, I prefer the 2002 Ancient Spirit from YS for its smoothness.
This is smooth, minty and leathery, not particularly thick or complex. Sweetness increases after a few steeps. It actually feels like a mild ripe to me. I didn’t feel the tea bloom in my mouth or throat as I expected and I wasn’t particularly floored by the qi, as some people were.
I think my bias toward the dynamism of younger shengs colors my impression of this mellow tea. I like it but I don’t think it would be something I would drink regularly.
I’m immediately struck by the thickness and strength of this tea, which really blooms in the back of the throat. This tea has been well-reviewed and I agree it’s a standout. The mouth feel is rare for a young sheng and the peach flavors pleasantly mingle with the nutty notes you would find in a dragon well green.
Those of you with sensitive stomachs: beware; it’s hard-hitting and can be bitter if you don’t keep the steeps short. Still, I believe an experienced drinker would never get bored with this beguiling tea, one that, like a great poem, rewards re-readings.
I’m actually reviewing the Spring 2016 version of this tea. I wish there was a way Steepster could archive reviews of previous harvests of teas that are produced annually, so we don’t end up clogging the site with multiple entries of the same tea.
Anyway, I’m not much of an oolong drinker but I’m trying. I’ve been impressed with TS teas and this one in particular. It’s a beautiful, aromatic and delicious tea that tastes vegetal when it first hits your mouth but then boasts a zesty clove/cinnamon/allspice component to give the tea a little kick.
It coats the mouth and throat like a quality Sheng and promotes a beatific mood.
I have to agree with the YS description—this is a unique tea with a challenging flavor profile. I can tease out some pepper, nuts, and chocolate flavors but the overall body and mouth feel is unlike anything I’ve tasted. Maybe a hint of Rou Gui and mountain stream water when you hold the tea in your mouth for a bit.
Overall, it’s very tasty and intriguing—a good choice when you want to sit down and focus your attention.