Ahh I finally am getting to reviewing this tea, so sorry for the delay Teavivre!! A huge thanks for this free sample!
I was originally just going to make a big cozy mug of this as it’s freezing here on the first day of November and I have been trying to warm up enough to do something all day, but I looked at my little teapot from Crimson Lotus and thought man it’s been a while since I’ve used it! This is the teapot I didn’t season and just went for it when I first used it and it yielded excellent results, so I’m excited to try another shou in it today!
I used probably a little over half of my sample for this session, I was going to use it all but since the teapot is so small I thought I better use close to half to start, plus I will have enough for a Western cup another day! I did a quick 10s rinse with boiling water and poured this over my teapot, mmm there is a lovely musty, almost creamy rich smell about it. Man I always say this – I need to drink shou more often!
The first steep I did for 10s with boiling water as well, and the liquor is nicely dark already, not opaque but a nice rich reddish brown color. It smells sweet and woodsy. As for the flavor, mmmm this is a pleasant puerh, it is actually super sweet!! Like a drippy caramel flavor, toffee-like, melding with a rich mahogany wood with the barest hint of smoke to round it out and make it even cosier. It’s thick and rich and delicious. I’m not sure if some of the flavor of Lake Huron (the last tea I had in the teapot) is adding to the thick, rich flavor, but man is this ever good. I am also detecting a slight floral dryness in the aftertaste, hmm could be interesting to see how that develops!
Steep 2 – 20s with boiling water – also, I am following the parameters on Teavivre’s website haha, the liquor is about twice as dark and the sweet wood smell is growing in intensity. Mmm the woody flavor is growing too, still rich, becoming deeper, still with that mild smoke note. As it cools the sweetness disperses into a mild molasses hint and a great roasted cedar note comes through. The mouthfeel has changed from less creamy to deeper now too. Yum. Amazing how just letting it cool changes the flavor oh so much!
Overall, the first two steeps of this have been great, and I look forward to an afternoon of this, steeping it out and being warm. I’m excited to see how the flavor changes, since there has already been quite a change between the first two steepings. Hopefully I can get some cleaning done too now that I’m warmer, although I feel cozy and content, this tea is evoking a nice relaxed feeling rather than energetic so far haha. Once again, thanks to Teavivre, particularly Angel there, for giving me the opportunity to try this lovely shou!