It is said that Ai Lao Sheng Pu’er has a uniqueness to it and after tasting this tea, I can wholeheartedly agree! Everything starts rather predictably. The humid leaf has hints of smokiness, and a touch of thickness or meatiness, but nothing shocking. The liquor infuses to a rich, glistening amber, and then comes the first sip. KA-BOOM! This aged sheng puerh offers something utterly unique, akin to a coffee-like boldness but without any of the characteristic ‘sheng-bite’ I would have expected. The flavor is rounded and complete, without any offensive edges, but encompasses a slight bitterness, savory umami (absent of any fishiness), and a bright, joyful character.
The tea’s texture in the mouth is nothing short of luxurious – velvety and thick, it coats the throat with its richness. For aficionados of aged sheng Puerh, this Ai Lao Sheng Pu’er is an unmissable gem. The experience is further enhanced by the captivating herbal aroma from the gaiwan lid, complemented by the bottom cup’s scent that evokes imagery of a bamboo forest freshly drenched in rain. Every aspect of this tea, from its aroma to its lingering aftertaste, speaks to the meticulous care and ancient traditions that shape the art of Chinese tea making, making it a prized possession for tea lovers and collectors alike.