kieblera5 sent me a generous sample of this some time ago. Thank you very much!
Had a gongfu session with a ceramic gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 20 seconds, 15, 15, 20, 40; 1 minute, 2, 5, 10.
The dry leaf aroma smells of chocolate and earth. The chocolate is strengthened in the rinse and wet leaf aromas.
The first infusion is very light – light in color (orange) and light in flavor (mushrooms). This shou gets going right after this, though. Both the color and flavors strengthen. Lovely shade of dark red in the pitcher, when held against sunlight. My session was split in about half, not counting the first cup. I had to take a four hour-long break. There is a difference in taste and texture. Infusions 2-5 are deliciously creamy, sweet, and cocoa-filled. I didn’t give much to my tea pet, Georgie. Sorry not sorry, buddy. The cocoa is still there in 6-8, but it is more bittersweet than sweet. And the texture is not quite as smooth but still thick.
Overall, a clean and light shou. Not heavy like other chocolately shous I’ve had perviously. Don’t underleaf, like I did in the first session (this review is based off of my session), otherwise it’s far too light. Very glad to have tried this! The price for a cake on Tea Urchin’s website is more than reasonable.