I’m finally getting around to trying my sample of this today (thanks, G)
I really like the way this dry tea smells! It reminds me a bit of the pu-erhs I’ve been drinking which are flavored with the rice herb. I did give this a quick rinse in boiling water and now it smells earthy and sweet.
Steeping method: gaiwan.
1st steep: 30 seconds. A smooth and dark reddish-brown liquor. A very soil, rich kind of earthy with a definite sweetness bordering a bit on fruity. No off odors or flavors like fishiness are present. A hint of… tobacco perhaps?
2nd Steep: 10 seconds. Believe it or not, 10 seconds was plenty, especially for the way I feel like drinking it today. But it still got very dark! I’m getting a slight smokiness in the aroma here, kind of chewy in the flavor, nice forest floor aroma.
3rd steep: 30 seconds. I am starting to feel some of the invigorating effects of this tea. I did really need it today somehow. Even matching up my socks from the laundry is feeling like a chore. It has a very smooth feel in the mouth, which makes me want to sip on it slowly and linger around with it. Aside from earthy and smoky I feel like I’m getting a bit of raisin here.
It is fairly warm here today, which makes it hard for me to think about drinking more shu so I’m going to save the remainder of these leaves and experiment with cold brewing them.
This is a very nice offering from Mandala’s private pressing, I have enjoyed trying it and may need to get some more in the future. Good job…