Brought this one to work today so I can spend a whole day with it. I’ve heard good things about this one (it’s another from Dark Matter 2016), so I’m excited to give it a go. As I’m at work, I’m brewing this one western style.
First steep is a pretty orange/amber. It’s lightly earthy, with a touch of forest mulch, and a little sweetness. Most shou I’ve tried isn’t this sweet straight from the get-go, so that’s a nice surprise. It’s also lighter and less pungent altogether – both in terms if liquor and flavour. It’s not your typical “muddy” shou.
Second steep is very similar. It’s still very light-tasting, but smooth and with an almost buttery quality. The leaf is still pretty compacted, although the liquor is slightly darker this time. Mild-earthy-sweet is how I’d describe this.
Third steep is, again, similar. The liquor is much darker this time – the black/brown that I’m used to seeing with shou. The creamy smoothness is perhaps a little more pronounced, but it still retains a nice balance between earthy/sweet. It’s very easy to drink, and not at all funky.
Fourth steep is still pretty much the same in terms of flavour! I get the impression that this is a tea that could keep going and going, although I’m starting to experience a slightly drying mouthfeel.
I’ll probably carry on a little longer with this one, but probably not for more than another 2 steeps. I’m sure it still has a fair bit to give, but it’s making me feel quite thirsty because it’s become drying – and my still-fairly-sore-throat really isn’t enjoying that very much. I’d return to this one again in the future, though – it’s a great, drinkable shou!