edit: on further reflection, the mold may have just been tea dust. Oh well. Doesn’t hurt to be safe.
Thanks Kar for the sample!
I drank part of the sample some time ago grandpa’d in a mug and I don’t remember much other than that it was okay. I’m pretty sure I didn’t rinse, and it looked fine. Tasted like aged sheng mushroominess, nothing special.
I’ve kept the rest of the sample with a Boveda pack in a Mylar with some other to-drink-soon samples and so you can imagine my horror upon taking the rest of it out to brew and seeing small yellow mold spores. Did I do the smart thing and toss it? No, I just gave it two 20s rinses instead of one and hoped for the best.
I didn’t take notes for it, but it was a bit over 8g in a 90mL gaiwan, steeped like I usually do. Smell had sour, leather, and mushroom-y aged sheng notes. Broadly, tastes were pretty strongly bitter (not LME level, but still bitter) and mushroom-y, sometimes sour and lingered for a while in mouth and sometimes throat, which I know is a good marker of quality, but in terms of personal preference for what constitutes pleasantness/enjoyment is a different story. Sometimes cooling on tongue. Some shifting woody herbaceous notes along with hints of dark fruitiness and smoke. I didn’t particularly like this and would not purchase a cake, but it was interesting to try.