Thank you to the Teaguy for providing this sample. Today we have 10 year aged shou pu’erh tea. I started by examining the leaves this time, as the leaves looked really good for unpressed shou, reading the description I found out this is a lighter fermented shou. Starting with rinsing the yixing and then giving the tea a quick rinse, once was enough as the leaves were very clean and being unpressed opened quickly. I got a clear red liqour with just a hint of darkness, pretty much what you would expect from a lighter fermented shou.
Getting to the good part now I brewed the first one for about 5 seconds with a 6 second pour. I got a slightly darker liquor this time with nice earthy, caramel nutty aroma. Though it was earthy it was lightly so, not at all any damp or swampy notes. Sipping it, it was sweet, lighter, creamy. Very smooth, and maybe a bit of honey and raisins.
Second infusion got a bit darker still which is fairly normal for a ripe, the flavors also got a little more intense. Though the notes were still the same, nutty, raisins, caramel. Rather on the sweet side as well. Though the liquor is still very clear with almost no particulate breakup that you sometimes see in ripes.
Third infusion got darker still, more earthy and nutty notes coming out now, though still a bit sweet. And its still quite smooth, it actually isnt as intense as I would have expected at the third steep. Usually an aged ripe is practically pounding you with the flavors at this point.
Fourth infusion im starting to see a bit of a drop off in color as the leaves fully open now and start giving up their flavor and color to the tea. Still very flavorful, with nutty and earth still predominant.
Im expecting this to steep out quite a few more times, it seems to be a bit of a slower steeper because of the lighter ripening. Less intense over more time.
I highly recommend this tea for those that like a lighter ripe, something smoother and easier. Not so intense and especially if swampy or wet tastes of shou have turned you off in the past, this has absolutely none of them.
Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Earth, Honey, Nutty, Raisins