I’m going to put my note in as I wrote it, because I found this interestingly changeable for shou. It is actually the 2012 that has varied reviews, but the reason could be similar.
Continuing with the shou because of my cold, I broke out my 2009 Nan Jian 801 tuo from YS. This doesn’t seem to have much to show for the age – it’s another quite woody and earthy shou, has good thickness, but there isn’t really anything that says it is older than the 2016 Yong De I was drinking before. Wouldn’t get this one again because there isn’t much point (yeah, it was a cheap tuo). The tuo and the wet leaves in the pot both smell much more interesting than the tea.
Oh hang on! I am now on my second 500ml water in my thermos, and now I get huigan if I riffle it in my mouth, which admittedly I don’t do that much when drinking shou. That makes some sense of the split in reviews for this tea – it has multiple entries under slightly different names on Steepster, and some say it is sweet and some say it isn’t. Either that, or the character really does change after 500ml of steeps, which is odd given that it isn’t that tightly compressed and the leaf I put in the pot was not a single big chunk but mostly loose.
Ok tea, you have risen in my estimation mid-review and become significantly more interesting. (I do prefer it if my shou isn’t finicky though!)
I’ve been putting in ~6g of these to give me more thicker infusions for my throat – that’s more leaf than I’d usually use. (Gongfu in 140ml clay pot, not entirely full – I’m getting 85ml out in my cup, most steeps about 25s, increasing as it thins out).
ETA: Water temp. Close enough to just-boiled gives huigan, once it has cooled a bit it doesn’t.