I received this as a sample, and I was intrigued because the MEGA brick is a pretty good value. Glen, and Lamu, are always so generous with to include a little surprise in all most of my orders. It is always about the little things, right?
Dry leaf – Pretty standard shou stuff here, not pungent or anything smells clean, not real funk, or fishy-ness. Standard wet leaves and forest floor, woody earthyness.
I rinsed twice, and sampled the 2nd rinse, out of curiosity. It was still a little weaker than I expected, but it had a certain brightness to it that was surprising , just elevated enough to keep things interesting, and not all flavors heading down the the dark earthy abyss.
Wet leaf – There is a lot here actually, why I’m falling in love with these teas. Forestry, earthy scents, with leather, and what I can only describe as perfume, like a peppery men’s cologne, its a hard scent to describe. Melon rind, and black pepper? All dominated by the standard shou – ness.
2nd-3rd steep – Wow, the leaf really opened up on the 2nd steep! poured a dark , dark garnet brown. Think Chimay Grande Reserve, for you fellow beer nerds. The body was lighter than expected, and it still had just a little brightness, to keep the palate from being sunk. However, not a flavor you’d normally call bright, but it is all relative. It drinks, soft, smooth, and mellow. Earthy, woodys, moss, and wet wood. I get a cooked / burnt, barbecue sauce scent, and leather in the background. semi-sweet, and mineral finish. If you have ever licked a salt block, when you were younger(the red ones) like that but not salty.
4th-5th steeping – The flavor really mellowed out here…just smooth tea, and maybe sweeter, but not sure if the earthy notes had died off a little, and made some room for the sweetness to come through more. It did however, give up the ghost a little here. Your first 4 steepings are where it shines, the tea definitely gets more focused, and less nuanced from here on out.
In conclusion, Overall it was a good tea session. It was a good shou, but about what I expected, given its price point. However, it would make a great daily drinker, which I think is more for what it is intended for. A solid shou, a good entry shou I think, and daily drinker fo’ shou!
Flavors: Decayed wood, Earth, Forest Floor, Iodine, Leather, Melon, Mineral, Mushrooms, Musty, Peppercorn, Perfume, petrichor, Smooth, Wet Moss, Wood