2006 SE Asia Trade Memorial Cake (Sheng/Green/Raw)
Origin: Yunnan, China, Chan-Tai Tea Factory
Vendor: Houde Asian Art
Price: $37.50/400g Cake or $5.50/1oz Sample
My cold is preventing me from fully enjoying the aroma of the dry leaves, but I seem to be picking up the same smoked melon that I usually get from young sheng. Why melon? Sheng smells very similar to a particular green tea, to me at least, and that tea always tasted like melon. So, when I smell a smokey sheng and try to translate the aroma into words, fruity and melon are what I get.
I used 5 grams in a 150 ml gaiwan again, and rinsed once for five seconds.
The first infusion was smokey, thin mouth feel, a pleasant bit of astringency that gives the tea texture. A bit of something I'd describe as either fruity or naturally sweet. The second was more of the same. The third and fourth mellowed out a bit, decreased astringency, but also decreased sweetness. The fifth was a dud, so I doubled the infusion time, and the sixth was back on track.
Unfortunately, as I said, I've had a cold the past few days, and this time around the puerh wasn't agreeing with my empty stomach, so I think I rushed it a tad. Over all I liked it quite a bit, as much as I like any puerh--I like to experiment with puerh, but so far I am not in love. I think I will pick up a cake later and revisit it again.
What have I learned? Now I have a benchmark for both a bad and a decent or good young sheng. I've also learned this week the value of smaller tea ware for gong fu. I think most new tea drinkers balk at the idea of a 90 ml teapot; I know I did, but now I wish I had one, or five. I have a feeling that I could get better results with a smaller gaiwan or yixing pot, have more control.
Oh well, Christmas is around the corner.