This sheng pu-erh had one of the best looks I saw for a sheng. Can you see how its ‘golden tips’ are shining? The seller noted that the leaf colour is darker compared to other young sheng pu-erhs. This is because this tea has been traditionally processed, which involved oxidation and wood-fire fixing. This pu-erh is from the Naka mountain which is a tea-growing area in MengHai famous for its old tea trees and mixed with “zhong ye zhong” a small leaf varietal. This tea is made of from the latter.
With the elevation around 1600 meters, teas from Naka are known for their strong and bitter character. This tea started too bitter for me that I had to discard the second steeping (I do not use the first steep anyway). The third one was still bitter but drinkable. As I continued steeping, the more interesting the flavours of this tea became. Its vibrant floral aromas became more and more present too. In the end, the pu-erh offered a very unique drinking experience with multi-layered flavours (earthiness, floral, smokiness) with an overarching bitter-sweet, and refreshing main character. It also has a HuiGan which kicks in a little late but stay longer.
I also thought that this tea would age very well, I will try to keep the rest for future consumption. I would say at least seven years.
Type: Dark (Pu-erh)
Origin: Naka, MengHai, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
Harvest time: April 2019
Leave colour: Tones of darken green and brown with shiny golden tips
Liquor colour: Yellow
Tea aroma: Floral with a hint of earthiness
Tea taste: Refreshing with an evolving bitter-sweet character. After the fifth infusion, citrus, floral, and smoky notes become stronger
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 100°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 30 years and possibly more