5 Tasting Notes
This was a free sample sent some time back with a previous order. A nice, smooth shou with a distinct malty sweetness & balanced the earthy flavors. Malt is new to me in a ripe pu-erh & I liked it. No fermentation flavors here at all. The first five or so steeps brewed dark, with good mouth feel & some coating oils. After that, it started to fall off & the flavors gradually tapered to a mellow earthiness by steep 8-10. I would have liked it to hold out a little longer. It seems the ‘06 is gone & puerhshop.com is now carrying the ’07. Maybe I’ll add a beeng/sample to my next order.
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Sweet
This mushroom suits me just right on a (bitterly) cold & snowy night. I’m impressed with the development and smoothness since my last session with this tea. It’s brewing up a clear and dark orange color, with a sweet earthy scent. Nice woody flavors dominate, balanced by sweet leather and maybe a hint of vanilla. A smokey addition and a hint astringency add some complexity to this straight-forward tea. Warming and comfortable is how I’d describe this one. I’ve been exploring shou recently for something on the deeper side, but this is what I’m looking for. Hopefully later vintages age as well.
Flavors: Earth, Leather, Smoke, Wood
My nose could detect some fermentation on the rinse, but it has been clean tasting from the first steep. Tea brews a dark red-brown and has medium mouth feel. Not oily, but it does linger on the palate and has reasonable strength in the early steeps. Flavors are earthy/leathery, with some grain/cereal additions. This shou isn’t overly sweet, which I like.
Flavors: Earth, Grain, Leather
I find that cold brewing this tea suits me best. A heaped teaspoon steeped with 12-13oz of cold water in the fridge for 6-10 hours seems to do well (to my tastes). I generally steep the leaves at least twice, but the flavor drops off quickly after that. Flavors from the first steep are vegetal and slightly sweet, with little to no astringency. I find the second steep is usually slightly sweeter and can be more grassy.
Flavors: Grass, Sweet, Vegetal
I normally steer clear of shou, but I have become curious to find clean and tasty options for a change of pace. I grabbed up this (free) sample from my stash hoping it would fit the bill on a cold and icy morning. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The broken/separated dry leaf smelled sweet with a touch of earth and none of that nasty fishy/fermented stink. After a single hot rinse the earth was dominant in the pot, but not unpleasant . The first steep was immediately thick, dark and coated my mouth with soft cereal and earthy sweetness. I’ve steeped this sample 6-7 times so far and haven’t noticed much change except for a slight increase in sweetness over earth. If I had to say, this one might actually be a little too soft and uncomplicated even when given extended (2-3 mins) brew time. The strength of flavor doesn’t quite match up to the color, aroma, and mouth feel. Still, this leaf was enjoyable to my tastes and that is an achievement. I’m now hopeful there is a shou out there for me.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet