Really good, ridiculously clean shu. Thanks Autumn Hearth!
So… Apparently there was bit of scandal going around a while back about this being a cheap, low quality shu. I can’t answer for the first accusation, but as for quality all I have to say is that it was delicious.
Putting that behind us…
Early steeps: The tea brews extremely clear with a nice red color. Thick, chewy bread flavors and notes of portobello, vanilla, and something berry-like.
Middle steeps: Lightly oakey, reminds me of the camping on a cold night. Tastes of dark, rich soil. It becomes lighter with mineral, almost sparkling qualities. Clean like sheng.
Later steeps: Dry fall leaves, cedar, and pine. The mouthfeel is sort of meaty, and though its not fishy at all, I’m picturing a nice plank-cooked salmon. (I’m not crazy!) :P The flavors start to get weak around the 8th infusion.
I left the leaves on a gaiwan saucer by the window to dry, and what I found where some nice, big healthy leaves. And these things:
Not really sure what they are, young tea flower buds?