Chen Sheng Hao NanNuo Sheng
Updated: Sep 23
Hello friends! I'm back with another review. Chen Sheng Hao tea very kindly contacted me and offered to send me a few of their teas to try. They're a boutique producer founded in 2007 and known for their high-end sheng puerh and their quality Lao Ban Zhang material. They sent me 2 sheng puerhs and 2 shou puerhs to taste, and as per usual they were sent to me with no promise of a review.
This post will be on their 2019 Nan Nuo sheng, which they describe as having "a pure aroma and fine taste characterized by a sweet after-taste all its own." So, without further ado, let's get into this review.
Dry leaf: The leaves are smelling quite vegetal, standard high quality sheng smell of fruits and clovers.
Warmed gaiwan: When placed in a warm gaiwan, aromas of fruit leather, honey, and a clover blossom florality are detected.
Rinse 3s: The rinse is a nice, light cream color; there's a pleasant floral flavor with some sweetness present. It's creamy/buttery but in a good way.
1st steep 10s: There is a light bitterness, but it's balanced nicely with an almost creamy, gamey hay flavor. There is a prevalent sweetness reminiscent of clover honey. I'm also detecting a light smokiness but it's complemented well by the pastoral flavors of the leaf.
2nd steep 15s: It has the pleasant bitterness I tend to associate with nannuo, but wow, is this tasty. It has a very nice florality with slight astringency on roof of mouth, but it has a milky, creamy feeling to it. Very thick tea. The sweetness is incredible- any hints of bitterness are immediately swept away by a wave of sweetness, similar to having a piece of rock sugar in my mouth.
3rd steep 20s: There is that pleasant nannuo bitterness but again, it's immediately replaced by a strong sweetness with a mild astringency that doesn't stick. That astringency vanishes quickly to be replaced by that gamey, floral flavor. It's very creamy and floral with nice, strong sweetness. Breating in gives me a strong menthol cooling. Still slight smokiness, leathery almost.
4th steep 30s: I'm tasting peaches with that intense menthol cooling in my mouth. It's quite complex and very enjoyable.
5th steep 45s: This steep is pretty fruity, with a very sweet favor reminiscent of ripe peach/stone fruits; it's creamy and very floral; there's also a flavor note I can really only describe as gamey (hay, wheat, smoke) but in a pleasant way.
6th steep 60s: There'a a prominent sweetness with a tinge of bitterness, but it has a pleasant astringency that I associate with good shengs. It's quite impressive for this steep and the steep time.
7th steep 75s: It's got a lighter bitterness, lighter color but nice vegetal notes and a hint of barley/wheat/grainy flavor.
8th steep 90s: It's got a grainier, grassier flavor now, similar to barley and clovers. It's very pastoral and tasty.
9th steep 120s: More of those clovery/pastoral notes plus a wheaty, stone fruity after taste.
10th steep 140s: It's sweet, but less floral- not as much of the clover notes. It's starting to die.
11th steep 160s: It's almost dead, only tasting like sweet hay now- not much complexity left.
12th steep 190s: It's dead flavor wise, but still amazing huigan- I'm impressed at how sweet and lasting this is. I keep tasting that initial fruity sweetness and I love it.
This is a nice, high quality sheng that with age would be something quite spectacular. I can see those more astringent pastoral notes smoothing out with age and becoming something syrupy and sweeter. At a price of $132 per cake or $0.37/g, it hits well above that range. This is definitely a quality sheng and one I'd recommend sampling ($8.50 for 15g sample, or $24.00 for 50g) or buying a cake of for aging, as I think it can really become something spectacular with age.