Gongfu Sipdown (795)!
My dad really impressed me this year by doing a lot of research into straight teas/compressed teas and tried very hard to find something that I wouldn’t have tried that would still interest me; this resulted in him buying a 500g compressed ball of Dian Hong from a Chinese tea vendor on Aliexpress. I haven’t broken into that massive orb yet so the quality is still to be determined but is does smell really good!
This little tuocha was slipped in with the package as a free sample – it’s definitely shou but even after a deep dive of the vendor’s website I couldn’t identify exactly what it is. So, it’s a bit of a mystery shou! Still, I steeped it up one of the afternoons I was there and the resulting session was actually pretty damn lovely.
The tea leaf was very broken up and mulchy – really the quality of it in terms of appearance was quite shoddy even for a tuocha. To be fair, it was a free sample so I’m not expecting insane levels of quality – but still, after the rinse it all but instantly became pu’erh mush in my gaiwan.
But with all of that said, it still produced a thick and syrupy liquor that had a very lovely mouthfeel – minus the occasional tea leaf that wasn’t strained out – I hadn’t brought a strainer with me to catch those little fly away leaves. It was very tasty too; with notes of heavily roasted black coffee and oak wood. Dense, earthy and robust – it was a peaceful session as well as a surprising one!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_sADbvPmzE