This is now the second “brick” (this one is actually a very shallow tuocha) of shou I’ve bought from Verdant. I previously had a brick of the Lao Tong Zhi Old Comrades 2011. I have to say, at this point, I don’t anticipate all too frequently either (a) drinking sheng pu’erh or (b) buying shou in anything smaller than a complete bricktuocha.
Breaking up the tea myself gives me a lot more control over ongoing aging as well as breakage and it also means that early steeps are a lot more subtle because I’m hydrating a “slice” of leaves rather than completely loose leaves.
This 2008 already has some deeply musty notes while still retaining some of the sweetness of a young shou. There’s a definitely dominant presence of “flood damage” here. The whole room I’m sitting in has become overwhelmed with the scent.
While the chi impact compared to a sheng is far more subtle, it is still definitely active and I find the flavors so much more pleasing than sheng, I can’t imagine choosing the latter just for a stronger chi movement.