After struggling to redesign my blog and move it to a new hosting company, I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. The only thing that needs to be done is fixing some formatting issues and removing pictures from older posts. It has been ages since I wrote a new post and I started to really miss it!
One of my favourite tea shops (ANMO) is currently celebrating its third anniversary and they are doing a sale right now. I couldn’t resist and bought several things. One of those things is the 2018 Mahei Owl teacake from Sunsing Tea in Hong Kong. I had already bought a sample and was amazed last time I drank it. That’s why I wanted to do a proper session with whatever I have left of the sample in anticipation of the arrival of the full cake.
2018 Mahei Owl
The 2018 Mahei Owl sheng puerh comes from Mahei village in the Yiwu mountains. Before drinking this tea, I had never heard of this particular village, but this one tea made it one of my favourite villages! This is a Sunsing production (from Sunsing Tea in Hong Kong) and they produce similar cakes each year. Every year, they pick a different animal to name the tea and to put on the wrapper. It’s made from GuShu tea trees and consists of early spring material from 2018.
- Water 90°C
- Around 5g for a 80ml Qing dynasty Zisha teapot
The leaves have a dark brown colour with some bright tints here and there. I’m also seeing a dark green hue. The aroma is sweet and fruity and once they get wet, it becomes even sweeter. It’s similar to wild honey, but there is also a fresh edge that is a bit grassy.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): this one is a bit too soft, but I’m already getting some of the Mahei sweetness. There is also a warming freshness that has a sweet undertone. It has a zingy mouthfeel and the aftertaste is already starting to peek through, even though this was a really soft infusion.
Infusion 2 (15 sec): the colour of this one is a dark kind of gold. The freshness is gone and I’m getting what I’m looking for when drinking Mahei tea. The liquor feels thick and the flavours are sweet, but it’s not a straight-up sweetness. It’s a combination of honey and golden raisins. This results in a pleasant finish and fantastic aftertaste.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): the sweetness has shifted and is more pronounced. There is also a light sourness beneath the surface; it’s just right! The aftertaste is a full-on sweetness.
Infusion 4 (20 sec): the sweetness I’m experiencing now is of the same kind, but it’s less intense. The sour undertone has also shifted a bit towards more tannic notes. These notes are barely noticeable. Not experiencing any unpleasant flavours.
Infusion 5 (20 sec): the colour is more or less the same; a dark yellow/gold. This colour perfectly describes how it tastes: liquid gold. There is a sweetness of golden raisins without the tannic notes from earlier. I’m also picking up some notes of dark honey.
Infusion 6 (25 sec): the sweetness is shifting towards more citrus notes with a tannic finish.
Infusion 7 (30 sec): the citrus has diminished again. Subtle and sweet notes that go on well into the aftertaste.
I did several additional infusions and they were really enjoyable. I managed to get 12 good infusions out of these leaves.
Don’t know where to buy tea online? I made a page on the website with over 200 online shops and I keep updating it regularly. You can check it over here.
The 2018 Mahei Owl is my favourite sheng puerh right now. It has almost everything I usually look for when choosing sheng. From the second and third infusions onwards, it had good body and the combination of sweet honey and golden raisins worked well. Especially when it was in harmony with subtle hints of citrus and some tannic notes.
If you want to try this tea, you can buy 20g samples over here. I highly recommend it!