Second sampling of the day is 2007 huang zhi shou. I was in the mood for another strong tea today and picked this one. I started with giving the tea a wash to clear the dust and a bit of the ripe puerh dank from it. After looking at the leaves, and they were still packed pretty darn tightly, I decided to give it a second wash. I did sip the second wash and was surprised to find it was actually decent, though a bit watery since I flash washed.
The first proper infusion gave me a dark chocolate looking liquor that had scents of earth, peat, oak, and caramel. I also got a hint of cacao in it and a slightly lingering aftertaste that was quite pleasant. This was done with like a 1, 2, 3, start pouring and using the about 5-6 second pour of the yixing as most of the steep.
The second infusion gave a darker liquor and a tiny bit of cloudiness, probably as the leaves really opened now and started giving their all. This infusion was wonderful, sweet, dark, oak, earth, maybe berries or something as well. Basically everything you want in a dark ripe.
The third infusion is always the most fun when it comes to a shou puerh. Basically I poured the water in, and then right out again as fast as possible and I still got a liquor that was nearly black. This is the most intense infusion and it was quite dark, and earthy and sweet. The third usually isnt my favorite, it something gets to be a bit too much and this was similar. It was still good but its a bit much.
The fourth infusion is almost always my favorite, the leaves have poured their heart out in the third and now you get that beautiful slow slide. All the flavors are coming out, the notes are high and you get a chance to give it a moment to steep. Yup this was my favorite, dark sweet and delightful and not overpowering at all. This is what I wait for when I break open a shou!
The fifth and on infusions I slowly increase the time to maintain as much as the delight as I had in that fourth. I got about 3-4 more good steeps out of this before it started to wear down, but its got quite a bit of power and got nearly 10 steeps from it. Very nice tea, plenty of staying power.
I only got a slight bit of dankness in the first wash, and by the first infusion all hints of it are gone. I probably could have skipped the second wash, but it all worked out good.
Highly recommended if you like dark shou tea. I got this as part of my what is puerh from crimson lotus.
Flavors: Cacao, Caramel, Earth, Oak, Peat