After 3 months searching for a decent Shi-Feng, the winner is a medium grade specimen. Left pic. medium grade vs. Right pic. 2nd grade pre-ming.
The competitor were 5 grades of Shi-Feng '06. Pricing from 250 US per pound to 100 US. 3 higher grades of Shi-Feng came directly from The Tea Institute in West lake, Hangzhou. 1 medium grade from Canton, and the last one from T-Gallery NY, which is also a medium grade.
Although the Institute's Shi-Feng on the right had the best appearance and top pricing, it lacked the strength and dropped out at 3rd infus. The Left medium grade from T-Gallery had lesser appearance. Both grades maintain the same characteristic of Shi-Feng: Green bean, Roasted grain/corn, floral, light aroma of rice and sweet, clean, refreshing seaweed finishes. Left one out brewed the higher grade at least 2 steepings.
I am not a big green tea fan, but if I have the 3 months Spring green craving next year. I will go for the medium late harvest instead.
A Specimen from the Original 18 Dragon Well trees on Shi Feng Mountain. Picked back in '03 from a visit to West Lake. Today, the price from these original trees are auction at $130 US per gram.