I like this shu better than the nuggets. It’s less sedimenty, and more smooth. This tastes more like a beverage, and less like dirt. I don’t know if other folks would enjoy it, if they like the sediment flavor, but I prefer it. It’s very smooth, and light, but flavorful. The color is a very nice redish-brown. 1st & 2nd steeps: The flavor is like old wood. It makes me wonder if it was keep around rotten wood, or something. Not at all bitter. Just rotten old wood. 3rd steep: Old wood, and now leather. No more sediment, at all. Just lots of leather. Like chewing on an old belt. 4th steep (slightly cooler temp): Strangely, sediment is makin a come-back. Leather is fading. Less everything. I’ll have to use higher temp, next. 5th: Lighter flavor, but the leather taste is back. This one feels flatter, and less tangy. I think the water might be getting stale. It’s time to replenish the kettle, anyhow. 6th: Wood and leather are stronger, again. Sorta tangy, too. The aroma is getting a bit smokey. It’s not quite like sheng, though. 7th: I increased the temp a little, and the steep time a lot. The flavor is hanging in there. It’s still wood and leather, though. No new developements, except in the after-taste. It’s like portabello mushrooms, and was rather brief. 8th: Steeped at boiling for 2.5 mins. More of the same, and I’m bored. Over-all, I’m glad I tried this one. There was no fishy odor, and the sediment was minimal. This is a very smooth and approachable shu. Although, it was a little one-dimensional, to me. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t get too excited about having it again. However, if my goal were to drink shu on a regular basis, and I wanted to avoid anything gross. This would be an excellent choice. Although, I doubt it would keep me interested for long.

EDIT: Oh! I forgot to mention that I was doing double steepings. So actually, I drank around 16 steepings. By double steepings, I mean that I was steeping once into my cup, and again into my pitcher, and counting that as one steeping, but it’s in fact two. Sorry for the confusion.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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I’m relatively new to loose teas; started about 9 months ago. Already, it’s becoming an obsession.

My favorite is Japanese tamaryokucha sencha & kabusencha, from Mellow Monk. I really enjoyed a recent pu-erh, from Verdant Tea. Their oolong is quite delicious, too. So far, Verdant’s teas are the only ones which even approach the flavor complexity, intensity, refinement, and versatility of Mellow Monk’s. Both, have excellent customer service.

I love using my kyusu, because it’s quick and easy. However, lately, I’ve began experimenting with gongfu-style preparation, using a gaiwan. I’m making some progress, but I still have a lot to learn. I’m always open to suggestions, or advice. So, feel free, and don’t be a stranger.

I’ve tested this method with my favorite Mellow Monk teas, and was simply blown away. The more teas I try, the more I keep coming back to the Monk. Also, the more things I compare it to, the more I find to enjoy in it. It took me a short while to acquire a taste for it, but now that I have, there’s simply nothing to compare it to.

Lately, I’m falling more in love with a bold, and intense grassy note, and have been adjusting my steep times & temps accordingly. This is another one of the many benefits of, and testament to, the versatility of Mellow Monk’s fine teas.

I’ve been receiving some interesting suggestions from other reviewers, and I’m looking forward to trying these other teas.

So far, everyone on Steepster has been very kind, and welcoming, and I look forward to participating in the community.


Tulsa, OK

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