Brendan included this as a free sample in my order. Thank you so much!
I had a gongfu session with a ceramic gaiwan. Did a quick rinse. Steeping times: 7, 7, 10, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60, 120, 240.
I let the dry leaf sit in the heated bowl for half a minute. That brought out an aroma of milk chocolate cocoa, with loam underneath. After the rinse, the leaf smelled of bread, and somewhat sour. Later in the session had black grapes and earth.
It takes a bit for this shou to come out. The first few infusions taste mostly sour. The liquor is rusty colored. At the fourth, the liquor turns very dark red and is cloudy, but then it clears beginning with the fifth.
It is at the sixth infusion everything falls into place. The texture is thick and soft, and the the body is full. At first I taste cream of mushroom soup, which then develops into a maple syrup sweetness. Seven through nine are sweet with cocoa and earth, with an aftertaste of plums. A heavy feeling. After this point, the shou weakens in flavor and color, but the texture and body remain the same.