Alpha was a bit of a problem for me. Using my usual brewing methods with Alpha resulted in severely compromised durability. After four infusions Alpha was done. But what I tasted I initially liked. Slightly bitter and astringent with a flavor of under ripe pears and nuts, I keep thinking cashews.There was a very mild sweetness that balanced very well with the other flavors. Also a slightly grassy, sour taste that was also in the aroma of the dry leaf. Just fruity acidity and nutty. Nice enough. Brews a crystal clear yellow cup with the slightest tinge of apricot. Over all a nice tea but the durability needed to be addressed. So increasing the qty. of leaf and keeping the infusion times very short solved that but what resulted was a cup that was bitingly bitter and astringent. Not the clean crisp bitterness that we normally admire in a sheng. This was intense. A bitterness that really hunkered down and stayed a while, heavy penetrating chalky astringent bitterness. Alpha had some really good aspects but that aftertaste makes for an unpleasant session. I really wanted to like Alpha, but I just couldn't. So, seeing how Alpha was the first tea in the tasting and my just flat out not liking it very much, it kinda set the tone for disappointment for me on some kind of subconscious level. And I think I started to focus on the teas faults, very unfair, you can find fault in any tea if you look hard enough. Had I more experience with Alpha maybe this issue could have been resolved but the sample had been consumed. So all I,m left with is a memory of creepy, creepy bitterness.
Alpha = Yiwu