Got this as a sample with a recent Wymm order. In the mood for shu today so I chose this one because… well, it was there and it was loose and my pu pick looked surly and dangerous today. I love the dry leaf aroma: leather, earth, and mushrooms. When the leaf is wet the mushroom scent almost disappears, leaving just a deep rich, earthy, wet forest after-the-rain aroma. The color of the brew is really a lovely dark reddish orange, not unlike cola. Some mild sourness in early steeps eventually gives way to a smooth brew that coats the tongue and throat, and is robust and just a little bit sweet. I don’t know if it’s sweet like cherries because of the taste or if the appearance just gives the suggestion, but that’s what I’m getting from it. It’s also quite warming in the belly. And it goes on and on and on.

I don’t have a lot more to say about this shu. It’s pleasant enough and I’m glad to have tried it. The “third grade” in the name does make me wonder about the difference between all the grades though. I’ve never purchased the same shu in different grades and taste-tested them side by side. I think I’ll add that to 2016’s To Do list.

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For many years I drank cheap asian market-bought oolongs because I really didn’t know what was out there. For the last year or so I’ve been educating myself and making a foray into better quality teas. During the course of my journey I have fallen hard down the puerh rabbit hole – it started with young sheng, but now there’s another even deeper hole in the aged category, and I may be careening down this particular rabbit hole forever. I do still find time for aged oolong, a good wuyi yancha, and the occasional aged white.

I stopped rating teas awhile ago. I guess the numbers stopping meaning anything after awhile. For a long time I was pretty good about keeping my cupboard up to date and reviewing teas, mostly to help me keep track and remember what I like. I’ve gotten lazy about that for the last several months.

The tea addiction has also spawned a new addiction to throwing pottery, and I have become mildly obsessed with making tea cups, shibos, and teapots.


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