For the 2 year mark, we got a single 50 gram sheng puer cake. It is Lincang material, picked in September, pressed October, and arrived in November. “B_D_” is a mad lib, go fill in whatever gutter brained stuff that comes to mind, but I automatically thought “Big Dinosaur.” Mr T-Rex is usually at my husband’s work desk, but he came home for a visit. He’s been busy chewing on mini tuochas and rawr’ing at Tea Owls, it seemed B_D_ was right.
B_D_ aired out by my tea table for about a month. I was a little conflicted here – the instructions say to wait, but yet I should drink this now just to see so I don’t leave you readers hanging. Well let’s drink this puer now, and set a google calendar update to retry it later.
Dry Leaf and Steeping Instructions
Maybe I aired it out too much, but I have very little smell on the cake compared when it first arrived. After this session, I’m putting into the pumidor and and the cake it can be a jerk and fall through the shelves due to the tiny size.
I decided to play it safe and follow White2Tea’s guidance. I under-leafed a touch, 3.5g for a 6oml gaiwan (1 gram to 17ml). I stuck to 200F, I will stick to my guns. I will not wimp out at 185F. I am Hoot.
Tasting of White2Tea’s November 2016 B_D_ Sheng Puer
Steeps up a gentle light amber. The leaf smells fruity and light grassy. This should be fine and not death.
First and Second Infusion: Oh That is nice! Soft and cuddly! The texture is thick like puddin with dancing sweetness and vegetal. What a friendly tea.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Infusion: HURRRRRRRR FAKKKKKKKKKKCC! That’s kinda bitter quite quickly. Reminds me of science class in grade school where we tested our sense of taste, blindfolded, and your arse of a teacher feeds you a potato instead of the apple piece – mix of disappointment and being trolled. The bitterness hits the tip of my tongue, then flavor ripples through with a nice thickness, mineral, sharp vegetal with a potato grater feel of dryness. The end of sip is a wet stone mineral sweet, toying back to the first steeps of being pudding sweet. The fragrance is sharp and heavy, and I got the feels of being viced in the head.
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: I took a step back and went back to flash steeps to tame this beast of a tea. The texture is really flipping nice, it is coating my mouth in cream, then so much complexity of mineral, sweet, and leafy notes – which contrast with bitterness, dry cheeks and beefy aftertaste of mineral and light grass. The faster steeps here chilled out the bitterness, but I can still taste it looming over in my mouth, like a T-rex standing over you without you noticing… something feels off but you aren’t sure what.
Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Infusion: B_D_ is losing its complexity and getting a bit more easier to drink. It got more vegetal, as it tastes like buttered broad beans to me, with a bit of an apricot finish. At this stage it is quite astringent though, my mouth is quite dry, my tongue is dried out and I can feel my beak gums. I must resist the urge to blow my mouth as if I was flapping my gums like a horse.
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Infusion: I did longer steeps here, about 2-5 minutes. The flavor jumped back to bitter and really dry – this time the bad bitter without any sweetness. The aftertaste is a lovely apricot though. There’s another couple steeps here, but the power bitter is enough to get me to jump ship now. I spotted the T-rex and figured I should cut my losses and run now.
Hmm, I think he is hungry. I better get some Costco Rotisserie chicken.
In this state, 2016 B_D_ sheng is just really young and you need to play by ear to tame the strong bitterness. This tea likely would not at all be enjoyed if you dislike bitter or dry teas. However, resist the urge to swap it – toss it in your crock or pumidor and hold onto it. This tea tastes awesomely complex now with great feel – it could be wicked later!
Here is to another year of White2Tea club! /wallet sobbing
Bonus: Helpful DINO!