Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday Tea Talk: Qianjiazhai Old Growth 2012 Sheng

Up in a tree 
Fairies sit to have their tea. 

With china cups and china plates 
They eat their dainty fairy cakes. 

The table cloth is cobweb lace, 
A name card sits at every place. 

A warm moss upon the floor 
Just inside the small oak door. 

Wouldn't you just love to be 
Invited to a fairy's tea?

- Author Unknown (to me at least)

I think it would be amazing to have a tea and cakes with fairies, don't you?

It's sheng for me again my friends and this one has been in my tea cupboard since 2013. It's  Qianjiazhai Old Growth 2012 Sheng from Verdant Tea and I have only a little bit of it left. Maybe another two cups worth, that's it.

I remember the day that I first got it.  It was my very first young sheng and I had no clue what I'm in for.  I took generous amount of leaves, dumped it into the teapot and steeped them for 1 minute.  The result was a little more bitter than I care to admit.  I diluted the concoction and took to the internet to figure out what I did wrong.

Well, as I found out, young sheng can take only very short steeps before it turns bitter.  Instead of steeping it for 1 minute, I should have steeped it for about 5-10 seconds.  Quite a difference! Once I did that, the tea was simply amazing and I fell in love with what sheng had to offer.

Now it's been two years since I've tried this particular sheng and I was curious to see if anything has changed about it.

The dry leaves had a pleasant sweet vegetal aroma.  None of the smokiness I usually associate with young sheng but I figured maybe it will come out during steeping time.

Like I said, last time I was steeping this tea for only 5 seconds. Since couple of years have passed I figured I could allow for a bit more.  I steeped this time for 15 seconds.

Just about right.  The taste was smooth, complex and not a tiny bit bitter.  The smokiness I usually associate with young sheng was there, but not as much as I experienced with other shengs.  Now that I remember, this tea was never very smoky to start with.  The smokiness ,which I happen to be crazy for, I first discovered with my second sheng purchase: Master Han's 2013 Sheng Puer also from Verdant Tea.

That's it for my pleasant afternoon with an old friend.  Now back to building a compost bin out of old pallets.  I'll tell you all about it on Monday. :)



  1. Love that poem and YES!!! I would love to have tea with the faeries in my woods and wildflower garden!!!

    I learn so much about the different teas through you...thank you so much for this :)

    You have a wonderful blog, Kamyria~

  2. I an not a tea drinker but I did enjoy reading your excellent post.


  3. Thinking of you this holiday season and hoping you are okay. Miss you.