bearsbearsbears wrote:I'm going to assume you want a US vendor for speedy delivery and frugal shipping ... 2oz or less and affordable. The young sheng I've listed below I've chosen because they're drinkable and enjoyable now, even though they're young. Ask me for recommendations on ageable young sheng and you'd get a more expanded list.
Thanks, Jason, for suggesting the 2003 Keyixing Yiwu. This was exactly what you said it would be: Easy to order, available in a sample, an excellent drink for right now. I overcame my reluctance last night, broke a little off the cake, and brewed 6 grams in a 120 ml pot more or less to your specifications (OK, I confess, I drank the rinse!)
Like sheng puerh I've had before, it had a very light and clean taste, but I also found a delightful fruity sensation (Pez candies, perhaps?) that I’ve not encountered in sheng before. Initially it was as intense as a good sencha (is that qi, maybe?), then mellowed into something reminiscent of a light to medium TGY. Astringency was never a problem. The taste was not dark and shape-shifting like an old pu or aged oo, but it was still an attention getter. There was a nice slippery viscosity and fairly persistent aftertaste (that's a good thing, btw). It started to peter out after about 4 or 5 infusions, but I continued to an 11th more for the mushroom aftertaste enveloping my head than for the sweet water in the cup.
The spent leaves were mostly inch or more intact pieces (I probably broke them tearing them off the dry cake), thick, a bit rubbery, forest green, with lots of long stems. They reminded me of leaves from lighter tie quan yin oolongs. They were worth playing with.
I suppose the reason you recommend it for now rather than for aging is because of the light overall flavor profile, lack of harshness, and the fact that it doesn’t go for a lot infusions. This seems like a tea that was designed to drink young, but I'm glad I got a whole cake to see how it changes over time. I have a tendency to hoard my puerh, like a miser afraid to drink before the time is right. This one is just great right now!