These flap jacks are so cute!
I plopped one 7.2 gram flap jack into my gaiwan and went for it. One 20 second wash, a 20 minute rest, 15 second steep (still very light), then 10 seconds as it opened up. I didn’t pay too much attention to where the brewing went from there, but I would guess I got 12 steeps ending at a 3 minute steep.
The aroma of the wet leaves is very interesting. I got notes of cedar wood, smoke, molasses, and dates. It almost reminded me of a rich barbecue sauce. Unexpected but not unpleasant! The liquor smells a bit more traditional, quite fruity with a leading edge of dates.
The first brew was basically a rinse — very light still. The second steep is when the tea really opens up to me and brews quite dark. The liquor has a bit of cloudiness, but no off-putting funk to the flavor. As if it were the topping to a flapjack the mouthfeel is quite thick and syrupy, with a slick finish on the tongue. The flavor is well balanced. It leads with an earthy flavor and vague sweetness. As the cup cools it turns more fruity and you start to taste the date you could smell in the aroma.
The qi is more potent than I expected. It stays in my head, making my face slightly numb and my head heavy. There’s not much of a mood altering effect, but the physical energy is enjoyable. The feeling lasted into the fifth steep before it completely faded.
As the session goes on the aroma changes from barbecue vibes to vanilla and baking spices. This might be the first shou I’ve had that I would describe as aroma oriented. I say that because the scents this tea gives off are quite strong, interesting, and enjoyable but the flavor is less so. The flavor is rather mild and doesn’t have many flavors I could discern — just a general earthy and fruity flavor throughout the session. Definitely not a bad tea, but it doesn’t have quite the flavor kick I like in a ripe tea. On the plus side though, the mild flavor makes it very hard to push this tea too far.
Flavors: Cedar, Dates, Earth, Fruity, Molasses, Smoke, Sweet