Friday, October 26, 2007

'93 "Wild sheng"

Many thanks to Salsero for this tea.

More tasting notes for this tea can be found on these blogs:
Ancient Tea Horse Road
Another Tea Blog
Half Dipper

Opening the bag released a very strong spice cabinet smell. Salsero said that the tea has a strong spice flavor, but I wasn't expecting that much of a spice flavor. There was no aroma of aged sheng.

The dry leaves:

The first time brewing it, I used about 1/5 leaves, and very short infusions. The tea seemed a little weak, and mostly just had a slightly aged flavor. Because it seemed only slightly aged, I thought it was a dry stored tea. I didn't take pictures of the liquor, but it was fairly light in comparison to the liquor from the second round.

The second time I brewed it, I used about 1/4 leaves, and used slightly longer infusions than the first time. Brewing it stronger seemed to make a completely different tea. The color of the liquor went from somewhat light in color, to almost completely black like shu. It tasted like it was a shu/liubao/sheng mix. It had a smooth malty and creamy shu flavor, the rough edge of liubao, and the woodiness of aged sheng. Some of the spice present in the aroma of the dry leaves came through this time.

The wet leaves:


Looks like a mix of brown and black leaves.

I still don't understand this tea. Where did the spice cabinet smell come from? Why did it taste like a dry stored tea the first time, then taste more like a shu the second?

Overall, I don't think it was the greatest aged sheng, but is enjoyable if thought of as more of a shu than a sheng.