Monday, April 11, 2016

Tea Blog Confession: I Don't Like Sheng Puerh

Now before you all start yelling at me and flinging cakes of Sheng at me in a desperate attempt to correct my ways, let me make this abundantly clear. I LOVE Sheng Puerh, but after years of experimenting and drinking I have to admit, it really doesn't like me. You may all now proceed mourning for me.

I love the range of tastes you get out of both young and old (-ish, oldest I have had was 2004 so far, I have a 90s in my stash but I am waiting for the perfect time) it tastes 'old world' and 'rustic' with notes that remind me of drinking tea in a hut out in a bamboo forest, where the tea is stored in a cedar trunk and the water collected from a pure spring. It feels like I am getting back to my roots of frolicking in the mountains, or occasionally swamps and fields, Sheng feels very frolicking to me, combine with the usual powerhouse of Qi and you end up with a blastedly tea-stoned me.

But as much as I love the taste, and as much as I play around with years, brewing techniques, mountains, storage, level of food on my stomach...almost every single one leaves me with a dull ache in my gut not unlike swallowing advil. My stomach hates Sheng, no way around it. Not that it stops me from drinking it, but unlike some of my tea blogging bros, I need to recover, meaning at the most I can drink Sheng once a week. Unless I am drinking Bosch from White2Tea, that tea was a work of art but left me with a dull ache in my stomach for about a week.

I have noticed some Shengs affect me less than others, for instance I have noticed that Huangpians and I get along just fine, assuming I use 195 degree or less water. Some of the older stuff leaves my belly with minimal discomfort as well, so I am still able to drink some, my biggest problem comes with trying something new. I have a mountain of samples and even a few small cakes in my stash I need to get around to trying, but there is the apprehension that the tea I am about to drink is going to tear my guts asunder.

Why am I going into this lengthy spiel about my woes with Sheng? Mainly because it is an explanation as to why I don't drink them as often as others when I claim to like them, or why my blog only covers them once in a while, and more importantly to air my bitter grievances that I can't drink one of my favorite teas!


  1. I know of people who have the same issue. It is generally advised to drink older sheng. Young sheng is often a gut bomb. But yeah, old sheng isn't cheap.

    1. I am really excited to see how the one from the 90s treats my gut. So far the older ones have been more mixed, White Whale felt mostly fine, just gave my stomach more the feeling of a pulled muscle than indigestion, but the 2005 Teji Tuo felt like a punch in the guts!

      Maybe my stomach is just trying to save me from the cost of becoming a Tong Person :P

  2. Such an interesting tea to try, I would love to volunteer as a taster . :D

  3. I feel ya.

    I can't have sheng on an empty stomach.

    And I can't have roobios at all because it puts my tummy in lockdown.

    Does shou have the same effect?

  4. That's terrible news! I'll definitely pour one out for you the next time I have sheng. At least there is always shou :/