kieblera5 sent me a generous sample of this some time ago. Thank you very much!

Had a gongfu session with a ceramic gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 20 seconds, 15, 15, 20, 40; 1 minute, 2, 5, 10.

The dry leaf aroma smells of chocolate and earth. The chocolate is strengthened in the rinse and wet leaf aromas.

The first infusion is very light – light in color (orange) and light in flavor (mushrooms). This shou gets going right after this, though. Both the color and flavors strengthen. Lovely shade of dark red in the pitcher, when held against sunlight. My session was split in about half, not counting the first cup. I had to take a four hour-long break. There is a difference in taste and texture. Infusions 2-5 are deliciously creamy, sweet, and cocoa-filled. I didn’t give much to my tea pet, Georgie. Sorry not sorry, buddy. The cocoa is still there in 6-8, but it is more bittersweet than sweet. And the texture is not quite as smooth but still thick.

Overall, a clean and light shou. Not heavy like other chocolately shous I’ve had perviously. Don’t underleaf, like I did in the first session (this review is based off of my session), otherwise it’s far too light. Very glad to have tried this! The price for a cake on Tea Urchin’s website is more than reasonable.

Boiling 8 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I began drinking tea because its complexity fascinated me. I love learning about its history, its manufacturing processes, and its place in various cultures.

Japanese greens were my first love and gateway into the world.

My favorite teas are leafhopper oolongs, pu’erh (shou and sheng), and masala chai. My favorite herbal tisanes are spear/peppermint, lavender and chrysanthemum.

I’m currently exploring pu’erh, and any Chinese and Taiwanese teas in general. I’m not much into flavored teas, unlike when I first started. The only teas I truly dislike are fruity tisanes and the ones that have too much fruit. I do like hisbiscus, especially iced.

I like to write nature essays. I’m a birdwatcher as well as a tea enthusiast. The kiwi is one of my favorite birds. I also like Tolkien, Ancient Egypt, and exercising.

IMPORTANT NOTE, PLEASE READ: After two and a half years of having an account here, I will no longer will provide numerical ratings as an addition to the review because the American school system has skewed my thoughts on numbers out of a hundred and the colors throw me off. Curses! My words are more than sufficient. If I really like what I have, I will “recommend”, and if I don’t, “not recommended”.

Key for past ratings:

96-100 I adore absolutely everything about it. A permanent addition to my stash.

90-95 Superb quality and extremely enjoyable, but not something I’d necessarily like to have in my stash (might have to do with personal tastes, depending on what I say in the tasting note).

80-89 Delicious! Pleased with the overall quality.

70-79 Simply, I like it. There are qualities that I find good, but there also are things that aren’t, hence a lower rating that I would have otherwise like to put.

60-69 Overall “meh”. Not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good.

0-59 No.

If there is no rating: I don’t feel experienced enough to rate the tea, or said tea just goes beyond rating (in a positive way).


Westchester, NY

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