The next tea on my list is the 2022 Youle Shengcha from Banna House. They sent me a package with several samples to try and the Youle Shengcha is one of those teas. Degrees are close to 30°C again in Belgium so this young sheng works well for these kinds of temperatures.
2022 Youle Dashu Shengcha
This is a 2022 sheng puerh from Youle Mountain in Xishuangbanna. The tea plantation where this tea comes from is located at an altitude of between 1600m and 1800m.
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The material for this tea comes from dashu trees, which means that the trees are approximately between 70 and 99 years old. Keep in mind that this is an estimate and it’s really difficult to know the exact age of trees without destroying them.
- 6g for a 120ml porcelain gaiwan
- 90°C water
The leaves are pretty large and I see quite a few buds in there. The color is a faded and light olive green and it’s mostly uniform in colour. I’m getting a fresh aroma of hay in combination with dry wood.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): it has a very light colour and it almost looks like a cup of champagne. It feels pure and delicate and some of the dry wood is present in the flavour profile. The initial impression of the aftertaste is a slight bitterness and it quickly changes into a subtle sweetness. I also feel a certain complexity beneath the surface, but I cannot access it yet…
Infusion 2 (15 sec): I did another 15 sec infusion to see how the leaves would react. I feel a 20-sec infusion would be too long for the second infusion. I’m not getting the woodsy notes from before, but I’m getting some light citrus notes. The finish and aftertaste are slightly fruity and it sticks around for a while.
Infusion 3 (20 sec): the young sheng characteristics are becoming more prominent now. There is a slight bitter note at the start and this gradually transforms into a sweetness in the finish and aftertaste. This is a good example of a returning sweetness (or ‘hui gan’), which just means that the aftertaste has a certain sweetness to it.
Infusion 4 (25 sec): this one feels more bitter at the start. I might do a similar infusion next. There is a sweetness in the finish and aftertaste, but it’s not as sweet as during the previous infusion. It’s still a good infusion, but the bitterness stays around for longer. Once it passes, the sweetness is not as intense but it is definitely as long-lasting as before. It even has notes of summer fruits to it!
Infusion 5 (25 sec): it is similar to the previous infusion but the aftertaste has an intense sweetness to it that reminds me of juicy and fresh fruits on a hot summer’s day. I can taste those flavors for a long time after the infusion. Definitely a winner! There is definitely an initial bitterness, but it gets replaced by a nice sweetness. I generally don’t like bitter, but this one feels nice.
Infusion 6 (30 sec): no significant changes here. More of the initial bitterness followed by a long-lasting sweetness.
This tea is a good example of sheng puerh that starts out bitter and gets sweet in the finish and aftertaste. This phenomenon is known as ‘hui gan’ and is a sought-after characteristic of sheng puerh.
The 2022 Youle Dashu Shengcha is a great tea to drink in summer because it’s sweet and refreshing.
If you’re looking for a tea to drink during the hot summer months, I recommend trying this one. They have the option to buy a sample instead of a full cake.