Thank you, Angel, for providing me samples!
Gongfu method with a ceramic gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 10, 5, 10, 5, 15, 20, 30, 60, 90, 120.
The dry leaf has an aroma of earth and old leather. The wet aroma evolves after the rinse and first couple infusions – sugarcane, leather, bread, pipe tobacco – and remains sweet and earthy thereafter.
Throughout the session, the liquor is full-bodied, sweet, and soft. Early and late infusions have rusty, brick-like color, whereas those in between are darker, resembling coffee. The first infusion has a thin texture and notes of leather and tart plums. Second introduces wood of trees that are neither young nor old. Aftertaste of black coffee, which is present in the third infusion and only partially in the evergreen-like fourth. The fifth infusion tastes like leather bound books. Up to this point, the texture has been thin. The sixth infusion is notably thicker. Creamy, sweet and sugary as well – the climax of the session. The intensity now decreases. The seventh and eighths infusions have a thinner texture and loam, wood, and chocolate notes. Lastly, the ninth and tenth infusions – combined – taste of burned wood, fried potatoes, BBQ ribs, and salt. with a smoky aftertaste. A thick texture returns.
The tartness early on was not to my taste, but I like how this shou evolved. Great finish. Interesting how the texture wasn’t consistent.