Gongfu, 5g, 100C.
I’m finally getting around to writing notes on some samples I’ve got rather than just focusing on writing a grant. I just took a nap right before bed and decided to start some shou so….good decisions all around.
2 rinses, and time to taste:
Steeps 1-3, flash steeps <10s: sip is like warm soil in a nourishing way. There’s a rich bitterness to it, the texture and taste of which remind me of sipping a suspension of powdered cacao. The second steep reveals some cinnamon or nutmeg notes. The sense of dryness is definitely also reminding me of powdered spices and unsweetened chocolate. Third steep, I was wondering when (IF) this would ever become sweet. Its starting to taste and have a stickier thicker texture like chocolate syrup, but only very lightly sweetened.
Steep 4- 6, 20-30s. The liquor is already starting to get lighter, I can actually see through to the bottom of my cup. If I didn’t mention it before, early steeps of this were d a r k.
Steep 7- 9 , 1+min, The chocolate tastes have transitioned into a syrup or oily textured freshly rotting wood. There is a small bit of lasting chocolate fragrance, but not as much as I would have liked. The tea is definitely fading out by Steep 9, I think this might be the end of it.
In summary, soil→cacao→chocolate→woodiness. I would have expected that the wood would be towards the beginning. Overall, this is a fine tea but i didn’t think it was anything special. I’ll come back to this when I have a chance to leaf it harder. (I didn’t want to stay up TOO late tonight…). I also didnt find much body sensation or qi as I would like. A safe shou as there is no fish at all, but too simple for me.

Flavors: Cacao, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Decayed Wood, Dirt, Nutmeg, Oak

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MD-PhD Student, new to gongfu brewing and serious tea tasting but excited to learn. My favorite kinds of tea are oolongs and both Chinese & Japanese greens.
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