I have reviewed a few different teas from the same farmer who made this sheng pu-erh. Including one of the most special sheng pu-erhs I have ever tried (a single tree gushu) and a decent shu pu-erh from 2018. They all came from Bangwei, which is located in Lancang County. This sheng shares the same material trees with the shu pu-erh. They are around 100 years old. They would not qualify as gushu, but they are not young neither.
This pu-erh in my mind was not ready. Such a strange thing to say! I mean that this tea was strong and not pleasant to drink currently, and it needs ageing in my view. Its astringent notes are very dominant, and regardless of how I steeped it, I just could not find a moment that made this tea enjoyable for me.
On the other hand, I did enjoy some young sheng pu-erhs in the past. Apart from the single tree gushu, this young sheng from Naka was one of my favourites. This is despite that Naka pu-erhs are known for their bitter and more pungent characteristics.
I have seen warnings on social media that do not drink young sheng pu-erh. Some suggest that it is not good on an empty stomach (like most teas) and some link it Chinese medicine and tell that young shen pu-erh cools the body and increases the yin energy, which is not for everyone. My experience has been mixed. For instance, I know that I will not touch this tea again for a few years. But I will drink from my Naka sheng sample soon. My intuitive induction is that gushu sheng pu-erhs are probably easier to enjoy than those that come from younger trees. Actually, this beneficial article suggests that the claim that “Most Young Pu’erh is Bad for Your Stomach Except for Gushu” is difficult to prove if a tree is gushu given that there are fake products in the market. It also adds that there are various beliefs around truly wild tea materials and their drinkability. We need more research obviously, but in the meantime, there is nothing wrong with experimenting and going with one’s instincts.
Type: Pu-erh (Dark)
Origin: Lincang, Yunnan
Harvest time: Spring 2019
Leaf colour: Tones of green with some brown
Liquor colour: Vibrant yellow
Tea Aroma: Earthy and floral
Tea Taste: Overpowering astringency
Steeping: Place about 6 g of this tea in a gaiwan or teapot and add hot water around 100°C. After rinsing the leaves, you can steep for 10 seconds and add 10 second to each consecutive steeping. You can re-steep this tea multiple times. If you can wait for a few years for this tea to mature, that would be the best!
Shelf life: Can be aged