My first sheng experience

Puerh and other heicha
thommes
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Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:29 am

I tried my first sheng within the last hour and learned so much. The sheng was in the shape of a dragon ball and took two infusions to open. I steep too long! On my fifth steep I was happy with myself for only steeping 10 seconds. Too long. I watched the videos. I saw quick pours. I learned nothing. So here in a bit I'm going back and counting to five. :D

I'm not a big green tea drinker, and technically from what I'm reading and learning, sheng is green tea. I don't know what year this sheng is from and have read about shengs aging. Just starting the journey but not sure how long it'll be when I could always drink shu. :lol: Hopefully I respond by end of day saying "WOW after several infusions this tea is uniquely not green."

Does all sheng have a green tea semblance to it's taste? I have been drinking more green tea for the health benefits and if I'm going to drink it, well it might as well be sheng, but I'd love to find a sheng with less green to it.
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Bok
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Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:54 am

Green or young sheng is probably the worst you can do to your health...

Technically the processing of Puerh is different to what is classified as green. Read up on some of Tillerman teas blogs and posts!
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aet
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Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:22 am

Better drink older shengs. 5+ years. Young shengs buy for storage so just drink it first time to try ( like buy a sample ) and decide if worth the money , then store it. You can read something about the processing and find out the similarities there ( green tea vs sheng ) . Young sheng is more aggressive to stomach than green tea, since the kill green leaves some enzymes active " not finished business " for future ageing.
Also try different storage, more info on internet. More you read, more particular questions you will have then faster you'll learn. Of course purchasing some samples and failing is part of the learning. Finding the right tea, right vendor takes time and it's still open game for you, coz preferences are changing based on many factors, not only based on gaining experience.
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Ginpachi
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:46 pm

@thommes Just curious, did you find some good sheng?
I hope you did, and that the comments above didn't scare you away from young sheng puerh tea :D
oolongfan
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:30 pm

Respectfully, I would suggest taking all caveats about young sheng with a grain of salt. Rather learn how your body reacts to it. I have several health issues that result in very slow digestion and motility. I find young sheng a wonderful medicine in aiding digestion...a digestif of sorts for me at least. Conversely, I have heard people complain about stomaches and other ills caused by consuption of young sheng, so again it depends on individual constitution and health.

I would suggest keeping an open mnd in regards to trying young sheng. Overtime you may find a young sheng whole profile is pleasing to your tastes. Since I too, am new in my puerh jounrey. I enjoy trying to imagine how a young sheng might age. Will it develop tobacco and camphor notes, or earthy 'forest floor' type flavors? When drinking an aged sheng, I might try to imagine how it tasted in its youth. While I am not yet a puerh soothsayer, these sorts of mental excercises help me to slow down and focus on the tea.
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Teas We Like
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:35 pm

That's exciting that you are starting to explore sheng! At the beginning of your journey, I would recommend to try sheng pressed into cakes. Usually, sheng pressed into small 1-session balls is lower quality. To qualify this statement and make it a bit more precise:
for sheng pressed into cakes, you can find good ones, and pretty bad ones
but if a tea is good, it is VERY rare that it will be made into small balls.

If you are interested in sheng that does not taste like green tea, I'd recommend sheng that's been aged for 10 years (or ideally 20-ish) :) Enjoy your search!
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mrmopu
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:58 pm

I hope I converted him. I sent him a package of samples to try.
oolongfan
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:40 pm

mrmopu wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:58 pm
I hope I converted him. I sent him a package of samples to try.
What a nice way to start some off on their sheng journey.

2005 Yun Pu Zhi Dian Changtai "Top of the Clouds"- Crimson Lotus. Beautiful apricot notes with soft tannins. A saline qaulity that I love and associate with more humid storage. Some darker aged notes that give me an idea of how this might age. The most striking thing about this tea was a 'candied apricot glazed salmon with dark sweet soy sauce' flavor, which reminded me of recipe from the Alinea cookbook that I tried a few years ago. This probably sounds awful and weird, but it is delicous..not 'fishy/funky' at all. Perhaps some one can better describe this flavor. I found the apricot and tannins emphasized in my high fired hong ni teapot while the zini teapot emphasized the candied salmon and dark aged notes. This is probably one of the more interesting flavor profiles rhat I have come across in a semi aged sheng .
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mrmopu
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:32 am

Yah, sometimes you are the enabler...... :D
oolongfan
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:02 am

Tea enabling of any sort is a good thing ;) Would love to hear about the sheng you sent. So much tea to taste and so little time (in my case anyway-health issues limit my tea consumption).
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Ginpachi
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:35 am

mrmopu wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:58 pm
I hope I converted him. I sent him a package of samples to try.
Hello mrmopu,
that's very nice of you!
Especially, since for someone new to puerh, there's way too much opportunities to encounter bad examples, IMHO - at least here in Germany, cannot speak for stores in the USA, of course.
Ethan Kurland
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:52 pm

oolongfan wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:40 pm
... The most striking thing about this tea was a 'candied apricot glazed salmon with dark sweet soy sauce' flavor, which reminded me of recipe from the Alinea cookbook that I tried a few years ago..
I have had fish cooked like this a couple of times & duck cooked this way several times. Really delicious & memorable; nonetheless, I don't think I am alert enough to make the connection when drinking tea even if I am lucky enough to taste such tea. (I hope I am so lucky to get to taste something like that someday.)
Thanks for a most interesting description. I only drink Pu-erh when in a teahouse. I'll write about the response I get when I ask for a pu that can give me a taste of the flavor of apricot-glaze & sweet soy sauce flavor.
Good writing! Cheers
oolongfan
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:50 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:52 pm
oolongfan wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:40 pm
... The most striking thing about this tea was a 'candied apricot glazed salmon with dark sweet soy sauce' flavor, which reminded me of recipe from the Alinea cookbook that I tried a few years ago..
I have had fish cooked like this a couple of times & duck cooked this way several times. Really delicious & memorable; nonetheless, I don't think I am alert enough to make the connection when drinking tea even if I am lucky enough to taste such tea. (I hope I am so lucky to get to taste something like that someday.)
Thanks for a most interesting description. I only drink Pu-erh when in a teahouse. I'll write about the response I get when I ask for a pu that can give me a taste of the flavor of apricot-glaze & sweet soy sauce flavor.
Good writing! Cheers
I am so glad that you 'got' what I was trying to describe, having had both fish and duck prepared that way. The first few times I tried this tea, I kept trying to figure out what I was tasting. When I finally figured it out, I was hesitant to share both because it sounds a little outlandish plus I am so new in my puerh journey. Later on, I read a few reviews on reddit and steepster...and somewhere, someone also tasted a similar 'candied salmon' notes as well...so I am validated ;)

It can be hard to discerne flavors as so many things can influence one's perception. When I am rushed or distracted, I tend to notice less, mostly bitterness, vegetal, and tannins more in young sheng. When I take the time to slow down, the tea offers much more. I also find that it helps to drink before - not after - a meal....well for those who's stomache can tolerate it (I can).

I would love to hear your experience when you next go to a teahouse and ask for a puerh that tastes like "apricot-glaze & sweet soy sauce flavor", I can only imagine what responses you might get .....you are braver than me ;)
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mrmopu
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:14 pm

oolongfan wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:02 am
Tea enabling of any sort is a good thing ;) Would love to hear about the sheng you sent. So much tea to taste and so little time (in my case anyway-health issues limit my tea consumption).
I read a few of his notes and just tried to get it in the ballpark. Sometimes you nail it and others not as well. I agree on too much tea and not enough time. In terms of aging some like it dank and wet and others dry. Just kind of depends on the person. And about the saline notes, ever get pepper from shou?

And life is too short to drink a lot of bad tea. Been down that road too.
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mrmopu
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:16 pm

Ginpachi wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:35 am
mrmopu wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:58 pm
I hope I converted him. I sent him a package of samples to try.
Hello mrmopu,
that's very nice of you!
Especially, since for someone new to puerh, there's way too much opportunities to encounter bad examples, IMHO - at least here in Germany, cannot speak for stores in the USA, of course.
Thank you Ginpachi. I want to keep people from making some mistakes early on as I did. I think mentors are needed in today's world. Pay it forward is my motto to people I help.
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