So since I’ve been sipping on sheng pu’erh earlier today and yesterday, I decided to see the difference in flavor between sheng and shu by trying out a shu for a bit now! It was time to open this sample from Verdant, I mean, no time like the present! The dry smell was nicely earthy, not as woody as the sheng.
I decided to try the same steeping parameters that I did for the sheng : around 3-4 g of tea I assume (1 big chunk and a few smaller ones) and did two rinses with boiling water, first for 25 seconds and second for 15. Then pour the boiling water in and out as fast as I can in my little glass teacup. The color of the liquor is a sharp constrast to the sheng; this one is a deep rich reddish brown, while the sheng was a pure gold. This one definitely has a thicker scent to it as well, a more rich, caramel scent. This is giving me more of an earthy smell as opposed to woods, I’m picturing more leaves in a deep forest, shrouded in mystery, while the sheng was more clear, woody, rain in the trees, up a bit higher above the ground maybe? Both are unique, and I quite like how they both remind me of the forest, but different aspects of it!
As for taste, this had the tiniest touch of fishiness, just a wee bit, also in the aroma a bit, but not unpleasant at all. I also noticed it dissipated by the end of the cup, so maybe a few seconds longer of a rinse would have eliminated it entirely. The flavor is more rich and caramelly, with a clean aftertaste. To me, this tea has a more sweet aftertaste with the sparkle, while the sheng was more of a crisp sparkle, different sensations. This tea is already becoming very soft and silky as well, something I really enjoyed finding in my first shu pu’erh. I can only imagine how much silkier this tea will get with multiple steepings!!
Overall, this tea hits more of a comforting level I think, warm crackling fires, or the inside of a tree. In comparison, the sheng I had earlier was more reminiscent of being outside in the forest while it was raining, the deep woody flavor was indeed the outdoors. Both are very interesting, and very happy I actually had these back to back to compare the flavors! Now that I’m getting on to how to brew pu’erh, I’m unsure of which one will be my favorite. Another wonderful offering from Verdant :D going to enjoy a bunch more steepings while I get back on track to doing my finance project lol.