It’s a chilly day here in NC. Well, it’s under 65, so to me that’s chilly. Anyway, I was finishing up some Naka sheng from last night and not really feeling it, so I switched to ripe. I finally decided to break out the 2006 Gongting Shu cake from the October White2Tea club. It’s been airing out for a little over a month in the pumidor (aka “cabinet with all my tea.”) 5g in my 100ml gaiwan. Despite the cake being extremely compressed, I had no problem breaking it up with my pu needle. I could see where a more blunt ended pick or knife might be a problem, but my needle is flippin sharp because it isn’t actually a pu knife but a very mean looking pick I got for under $10 from a hardware store. I have a whole set actually, different angles and such. But the straight one works like a charm. And yes, I have stabbed myself with it and made a blood offering to the pu gods (not on purpose).
Back to the shu. I did not find this shu to be fishy or fermenty or gross in any way. I find it quite tasty actually. Now, I do have to admit that my palate might be weird where it comes to shu; other reviewers have not liked this one and my wife exclaimed “what the hell is that you’re drinking, it smells awful” when she walked near me. So, maybe it’s just me but I think this tea is very nice. Dark, rich, thick red/brown soup coats the tongue and throat. Earth, loam, peat, wet forest. It has a pleasant sourness reminiscent of Delirium Nocturnum, which is one of my favorite Belgian ales.
If you can make it past caffeine tsunami into later steeps, the sourness of the tea calms down a bit, and the flavor becomes mellow and smooth, with a touch of sweetness and yeast bread. But the caffeine… crikey I don’t know if I’m going to pass out or run a couple of miles and then pass out. 2Dog should consider renaming this tea to “Caffeinated as #$&%.”