Sip down. I took Monday off, so I have had three days of abusive eating (my favorite kind). When I went to bed last night I knew I was drinking puerh today. It was just a question of which one. This loose leaf sheng came from ashamanra a while back so I am not sure how old it actually is but in the time I have had it, this has morphed.
The first cup @2 minutes is extremely milky in taste and feel. There is also a quality that all I can think of to describe it is shiny. Yes I know shiny isn’t a taste. Maybe mineral? Metallic? Not coppery. This has also become quite sweet. I add Splenda and this is almost sweet enough I don’t need it (almost – stupid monkey). The aroma is wet hay, which becomes part of the sip midway through. It has that wonderful sticky lip feel. Not sure why that always appeals to me. I think it is because it is followed by a rumbling tummy. Mission accomplished.
Second cup @ 1 minute, loses the milky taste. The press aroma is poo, I mean shu like. The taste now is mild sheng still with some sweetness and the shiny flavor.
Cup 3 @ 2 minutes. The press scent is back to a normal sheng like seaweed. The shiny taste is gone. Mild with just a hint of mushroom (in a good way). It is a bit like wet leaves but not yet earthy.
Cup 4 @ 3 minutes. This is the best cup yet. It is still mild but darker flavor. Sadly this is the last cup I have time for today but it was a good ending.
Today I tried altering my method to approximate what other reviewers did, to see if I could duplicate their experience. Used 2tsp of leaf and just below boiling water. First cup steeped 3 minutes. The longer steep and slightly hotter water gave a brew that was again very flavorful. Instead of mushroom, this time I get a pleasant earthiness and the peach notes that Harney mentions as the cup cools. It is not a strong note, only a hint, but it is there. Also quite a creamy mouth feel. The second cup I went 4 minutes. The peach notes are gone leaving a rich earthy flavor with less creaminess. Also notice the tongue tingling, followed by a cool breath feel. Third and fourth cup, is straight earthy sheng. Altering the time and temps did alter my perception of this tea. Still, my experience was different than the others reported.
Fifth cup. 5 minutes. While sitting here waiting on the tea, I started to grab a Hot Tamale (cinnamon candy) to munch. At the last instant in a fit of brilliance, or possible insanity, decided to toss a couple in the cup instead. Dude, I think I’m on to something! It was not enough to call it hot by anyone’s standards, just sweet and mildly spicy. This is good. I need to try this with a shu some time. I have never heard of a cinnamon puerh, so until I find out otherwise, I hear by plant my flag and claim this as my own blend.
Sixth cup, 5 minutes. Added 5 Hot Tamales to the cup. Turned the brew cranberry color. Smells strong of cinnamon candy but still not as hot as I would like. With a little work by someone who knew what they were doing this could be a really neat blend. What to call it? Hot and Spicy Poo? That’s probably almost copyright infringement. I know… Flaming Poo! Yeah, I like that. Hey, 52Teas or Man Teas, if you send me some, you can use the name. lol.
If you decide to try this, just be careful, the carnuaba wax turns clear and does not completely dissolve.
Drank this all day. I forgot what water temp I used previously and opted for boiling water. It wasn’t as I remembered it, so I checked my notes here and used cooler water and shorter steeps before. Interesting, it had more intense flavor with cooler water.