Sunday, February 8, 2015

2012 Wild Monk Sheng Pu'erh from Mandala Tea

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. 
~Thich Nat Hahn

Sheng Pu'erh tea is definitely one of my favourites.  Whether young or aged, sheng is a tea with a lot of character and staying power.

Remember the tea I wrote about last week?  It was 2005 Fengqing Zhuan Cha.  It lasted me for 3 days and many, many wonderful steeps.  I'll be ordering a brick of that probably today or tomorrow.

Today I'm drinking another sheng, this time a younger one.  It's 2012 Wild Monk Sheng Pu'erh from Mandala Tea.  I purchased couple of cakes last year with a hope to age at least one of them.  So far I'm almost done with one of the cakes and hopefully I can master enough restraint to leave the other cake to age in peace.  Sheng pu'erh tea is like a good wine.  The older it gets the better the taste.

The dry leaf has a delicate aroma, a little vegetal and smoky.  To steep a cup, I carefully broke off couple of pieces from the cake, trying to keep the leaves as much in tact as possible.

Before I steeped this tea for drinking, I rinsed the leaves with 90-95°C water and let them sit for one minute which causes the tea to wake up and release more flavour. Following that I steeped the tea for 10 seconds for my first 8 oz cup, one of many to come.  This tea has a lot of staying power and I get multiple steeps over couple of days or so, slightly increasing the steeping time with every cup.

4th steep of 2012 Wild Monk Sheng Pu'erh

The taste is delicious. It's earthy, smoky and sweet with a touch of fruitiness.  I can't say enough about smokiness of this tea, I just love it so much.  Currently I'm on the fourth steep which I allowed to sit for about a minute.  There is absolutely no bitterness to be found which can be an issue with younger shengs but I also think that Wild Monk seems to have less attitude than other young shengs that I've tried.

A cup of delicious goodness well worth the purchase.


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