Essence of Tea’s 2017 Jingdong Ancient Wild Sheng

I apologize for the lack of content this past week, I’m working on a in-depth, top secret post that will involve several sessions of tea. In the mean time, here’s one that I’ve been saving up.

While I’ve been into puerh and known of Essence of Tea for multiple years now, I’ve never gotten around to trying them. This is largely because they tend to be pricey and I tend to be stingy.  However, I recently received a samples of this tea in a swap from a long time tea friend who wishes to remain anonymous, and I was very excited to try it.

This tea is a wild purple yesheng varietal sheng coming from the Jingdong region. Jingdong? I know that name sounds familiar, but begrudgingly I had to google it. Turns out it’s part of the Simao/Puerh prefecture containing the mountains of Ailao and Wuliang. Duh. This tea is one of the cheaper of their 2017 offerings, with a 400g cake coming in at 55 euros; a price that I’d certainly consider paying if the tea is right.

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The leaf is typical of purple sheng; dark leaves with a rainbow assortment of red, green, and yellow in between. The aroma is pungent and somewhat fruity. I weigh out 6g for my 90mL pot. I realize that this might be a bit heavy handed for yesheng, but I go for it anyway.

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It brews a soft, light yellow color with a twinge of green. The tea is at once fruity, bitter, and sweet much like green grape skins. Bitterness is moderate, astringency low. This isn’t as much of a bruiser as some wild purple teas that I’ve had before, but it definitely has the characteristic flavor. In addition to the fruit taste there is a nice minerality and just a touch of smoke. The mouthfeel is clean but with a bit of oilyness, and the flavors linger in the mouth long after I sip.

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This tea goes for many brews, and as it goes it becomes milder, cleaner, and more mineral/honeyed.  The spent leaves are burly and olive green with somewhat red-ish stems. The tea gives me an aroused, energized sort of feeling with slight tingles along my head.  This is a good brew, and reasonably priced, but I don’t see buying any in my future as it is quite similar to other purple teas that I own and don’t drink very often.

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