Over the last 8 months, I have been getting more and more into sheng puerh. Both in terms of learning and drinking it. I noticed that I don’t really have a preference: young and (semi-)aged sheng are teas I like. Of course, it largely depends on my mood and the weather to see which tea is the best for that moment. One thing I did notice was that a lot of vendors were promoting new harvest material from 2020. For me, this was not really a good thing because I came to an interesting conclusion.
Semi-aged sheng puerh
I don’t really have issues with slightly older and aged sheng. It largely depends on the vendor (trustworthy and with a good reputation), the material in the cake, the area where the tea comes from and the storage.
As I explain in this post, it’s important that you buy from trusted vendors so you know you’ll get what you’re paying for. Especially when we’re talking about aged sheng puerh. A lot of fakery is going here and because it’s usually quite expensive to buy a cake of aged sheng, you really have to make sure you buy the real stuff.
The material and the location where it comes from play an important role when talking about sheng puerh. After a while, you know what kind of tea regions you like so you know which flavour profile you’re getting. Of course, it’s never exactly the same, but you’ll get a general idea.
In general, I’m not too picky when it comes to aged sheng and I enjoy most of my tea sessions with this kind of tea. One thing I try to avoid is a smokiness that is too intense. Apart from that, I really love aged sheng (as a lot of people do, hence its price).
Don’t know where to buy tea online? I made a page on the website with 300 online shops and I keep updating it regularly. You can check it over here.
Young sheng puerh
For me, young sheng is a completely different story. The same elements are important (vendor, material, location and storage), but there are some slight differences. Storage is less important here because it hasn’t been in storage for too long. If it has, it’s not that young anymore.
An element that is really important for me when I’m choosing young sheng is the age of it. As I said in the introduction, a lot of vendors are promoting young sheng from 2020, but that is definitely not for me.
Several weeks ago, I suddenly realised why some of my tea sessions were not what I expected. The material was good and it was from a region I like, but something was off… I came to the conclusion that it had to do with the age (or the lack of age) of the tea as I was drinking a 2020 sheng puerh of a few months old.
I tried 3 more young sheng puerh teas from 2020 and got the same feeling. The flavours were OK, but it was just too fresh for me. This freshness was way too intense and towards the end of the session and especially after, my stomach started feeling weird.
Young sheng experiments
After some more experimenting, I realised that sheng puerh of less than 2 years old is too young for me. I still have some very young sheng, I even got a full 357g cake of Jingmai deliciousness from 2020, but it will stay in my storage for at least 2 years. This realisation showed me that this article has proven its worth again. If something is not right, try to find the reason so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
If younger than 2 years is too young, what is the right age then? It depends on the tea, but I prefer sheng puerh of at least 2-3 years old. This means that right now, I’ll start drinking Autumn sheng from 2018 or older.
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