All right, I’m powering through this Verdant puerh sampler even if I’m not that excited about it.
Unlike the Verdant shu I reviewed earlier today (which I did not like but much of Steepster loved), this one has more mixed reviews. I got this in the form of the flat 5 g disc, not the tuo. It’s tightly compressed, so I put it through about 5 5-7 second rinses to break up the leaves. (The pick remains at large.)
I noticed the fishy smell immediately after wetting the leaves, but once I finished rinsing and actually drank one of the steeps: I do think I sort of might possibly pick up hints of corn (But also I just ate a Greek salad with lots of red onion and drank an IPA, so I’m not sure I can be completely trusted.). I don’t taste fish or seaweed or sea water, so that’s a plus.
I think I like this a little better the the other Verdant shu I tried this morning. I don’t love it. I would not go out of my way to buy more of it, but by the time I started drinking it, I think I had steeped out the most offensive of the flavors. The brew I’m drinking is light amber. It’s a little corny, a little sweet, a little earthy. Yeah, it’s a bit bland, but it’s not terrible. I’ll add more if I notice anything once I get the beer and onion off my palate. So far, I don’t hate it. It doesn’t turn me against shu or anything. It’s just boring.
Started out using boiling water with this tea, but with super short steeps (5 seconds, 7 seconds, etc.).
And finally, I’m not getting hay from a shu. Yay for the absence of hay.
Added later: Everyone mentions this being a sticky rice shu, but nope… I may have a different year from what everyone else reviewed, but I definitely pick up more corn than rice.
This one left a lot of dryness in the mouth.
Around steep 5: This will go a lot longer, but I want to go to bed soon and I’m over it. In later steeps, the fishy smell goes away and is replaced by a toasted rice smell. It’s okay, but I’d prefer more toasted rice and less corn husk. And if complexity is determined by aftertaste, well, yes, this one lingers a lot more than the one I drank this morning. Also seems low in caffeine — didn’t really give me a caffeine buzz.
Note to self: In the future, no more than one shu in one day.
MIDNIGHT: All right, I went the distance, I drank at least 10 steeps. I lost count, but somewhere between 10 and 12. It would go longer, but it’s bedtime. All in all, I think I’d like to explore more of this toasted rice sort of shu. I like it. It’s pleasant. The flavor got more interesting — and less bland — after the first 5 steeps. I’ll be looking for something similar to this, but with a bit more flavor and a lower price point. Also, steeping method worked well on this one. I’ll have to reduce steep times when I start shus in the future.
Also, I am wide awake so maybe I did get a slight caffeine buzz.
If you have any rice-y shu recs, please let me know.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Earth, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Wet Earth