When I was putting together my last two tea orders I was primarily concerned with propping up the Pu part of my stash.
I finally decided on four teas – two shengs, and two shous.
Regular readers of this nonsense will probably not be surprised to learn that I acquired said leaves from my regular dealers, House of Tea.
This is the first of the four that I’ll be taking a closer look at – a classic 357 gram beeng of shou.
House of Tea’s notes inform us that the cake was pressed in 2015 from material from the Bu Lang mountain region, and the beeng’s own nei piao declares that it was produced by the Guang Lin Fu Tea Co. Ltd.
The off-centre beeng hole and light compression suggested that the cake had been hand pressed.
I looked at that fine leaf and set my session expectation dial to “hard and fast“.
|Water Used:||Filtered tap water|
|Weight of dry leaf:||7 grams|
|Steeping vessel:||150 ml unglazed clay teapot|
|No. & duration:||a short rinse, then 7 infusions of 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 90, and finally 180 seconds duration|
As I tend to do these days I combined the rinse with the pot warming procedure, and afterwards the warmed up leaf smelled of “clean, white” smoke, paper, camphor, and a vague, distant, dark, fruity thing that was hard to pin down.
This tea was one of those that comes out of the starting gate like a greyhound jacked up on performance enhancing pharmaceuticals wearing a jet-pack. The soup was luscious and super slick, with hints of camphor, paper, and vanilla.
The second round had me sweating like an over-stoked boiler. These first two steepings kind of reminded me somewhat of White2Tea’s semi-legendary shou “Cream“.
The third infusion saw the liquor shift to a light chocolate focus, which together with that milky consistency almost had me thinking of drinking chocolate, but those other flavours still sat in the background pulled the rug out from under the feet of that illusion.
The fourth round saw my predictions about a whizz-bang! session look more and more likely, as the broth started to slip a bit, requiring a bump of the subsequent steeping times.
From this point on though I was battling the inevitable, and even though that luxurious mouthfeel was still there during the 6th. round and cajoled me into another trip around the block, that 3 minute long 7th. round saw the end of the session.
I see this beeng as occupying the late afternoon/early evening drunk for its own sake niche in the stash, rather than as a post evening meal brew or as a candidate for blending experiments.