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A few weeks ago, Vin-Satori sent me a package with a couple of samples (2014 Fengqing Ancient Trees, 2007 Lan Ting Chun Yo Ji Cha and 2009 Hou You 9026 Sheng). In addition to those teas, there was also a sample of a 1990 Hong Kong sheng. This was the tea I was most excited about because I hadn’t tasted a tea this old. That is also why I kept this one as the final tea to have a session with.
1990 Hong Kong Sheng
It’s a pretty generic name, but it doesn’t really matter that much. It only gives some basic information; that it’s supposedly from 1990 and that it had been stored in Hong Kong.
It has been through traditional Hong Kong storage and this is a loose tea, so it hasn’t been compressed into a cake. This allows for faster ageing so I’m really curious to see and feel how time has affected these leaves. If it’s really this old, this is a fantastic bargain at a price of less than €1/gram.
- Water 99°C
- 6g for a 150ml Wuhui Dicaoqing teapot
The leaves have a uniform brown colour and I also spot a few stems in the mix. If I look very closely, I even see some golden flower spores on the leaves. Such an inviting aroma with strong notes of camphor. It’s warming and refreshing at the same time. I’m also getting a slight hint of incense.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): for a first infusion, the colour looks incredibly dark already. It feels slightly creamy at the start. It looks like it’s going to be an amazing session! I’m getting strong flavours and I’m already starting to drift off towards endless camphor forests…
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the creamy edge has diminished a bit, but the energy of these leaves is really strong. The flavours mostly consist of camphor and I’m also picking up something fresh. The liquor flows really well and immediately fills my mouth when it touches my lips. It goes down really easily.
Infusion 3 (25 sec): this one is full of creamy camphor with a long-lasting aftertaste. Great mouthfeel and body sensation. Really pleasant to drink and this has to be one of the best sheng puerh teas I have ever tasted.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): this one also has a really dark colour. Again, the creaminess has diminished a bit but it’s still full of camphor. From the middle onwards, creamy notes are coming back. The aftertaste is long and comforting. It’s almost as if I’m walking through a wild and lush forest on a hot day in summer.
Infusion 5 (35 sec): the camphor is a tiny bit less intense, but still a lot more noticeable the most other (semi-) aged sheng I have tasted. I don’t really know what to write anymore because my mind is blown. Such a fantastic tea.
Infusion 6 (long): no big changes in this one. Still experiencing intense camphor with a very long and prominent aftertaste.
Infusion 7 (long): this was a really long infusion and the camphor has reached another level. The creaminess I experienced earlier has disappeared and it’s full-on camphor with a long-lasting aftertaste.
Infusion 8 (long): still dark and lubricating. I feel this tea could do at least another 8 infusions. There is still camphor that flows through the infusion and takes you on a journey to camphor forests far away…
This is without a doubt the best aged sheng I have ever tasted. Such an intense and sometimes creamy experience. Camphor was on another level and I just couldn’t stop drinking.
Since this session, I have been thinking about the 1990 Hong Kong sheng non-stop and wondering when I will drink it again. This one really made a lasting impression on me. The best of it all? It’s only priced at around €1/gram. This is a real bargain so don’t hesitate to buy it. If you blink, it might be gone already!
You can buy it over here.