It’s cold and rainy here, and the list of my usual teas has been becoming boring lately for some reason…maybe the change in season? So I decided to try a new to me tea tonight! And I also wanted shu for the weather..but not the usual suspects lol. Something rich, something warm, rich, comforting! Also had another ridiculously busy day at work with more overtime hours (think I have maxed out my allowed banked hours for the year now) and my head has been hurting on and off today from the cold, rainy weather outside. So this one has to be tried!
A disclaimer – I had some garlicky pasta for dinner lol, so hopefully it doesn’t impair my tasting! Also am replacing the Brita filter and just cleaned the kettle, so this is made with tap water and hopefully not too vinegary water lol. I rinsed the kettle and reboiled it and threw that bunch of water out, so we should be good!
The dry smell is a bit musty, a bit earthy..not overly strong smelling, but definitely a shu pu-erh, in a good way! I did a 25s rinse (steeping Western style), and the leaves smelled a bit fishy still, so did a second 15s rinse and the wet leaves open up to this strong, woody scent! Heady! Mmm a wet forest, perfect for what I want tonight :D so the actual steep was for 30s, the liquor is fairly dark, and there is a smooth woody scent to the cup.
As for the flavor, yes, that darn garlic from my dinner is interfering a fair amount lol, but I can discern a light earthy flavor, not too strong, certainly not overpowering or fishy to me! There is a hint of that olive oil flavor I know from that awesome black tea that Master Han made, what was it…oh, Master Han’s Yunnan Black! Yes, that is definitely in there..but the earthy woodiness tones it down and mutes it. It is a bit musty, but in a good, damp wood way. And I detect a hint of sweetness somewhere in there, kind of in the middle of the sip to the end of it, maybe the fennel making an appearance. I also get a slight linen aftertaste for some reason, I like it, but maybe it’s the mustiness lingering.
Overall, this is tasty and warming. This is such a pure tea, it feels fresh and cozy simultaneously. It is exactly what I needed tonight – grounding, relaxing, comforting, just what I needed. Now I’m even more excited for my incoming Verdant order, which consists mostly of the new pu’erhs they just released! Now that I have experimented with more pu’erh, I am excited to get back to the ones from Verdant, previously the shu’s were a bit much for me with their bold flavors, but now I can appreciate them :)
Anyways, a tasty tea! Not sure how to rate it since the garlic is interfering, so rating subject to change :)
ETA – I resteeped this tea!! Landmark moment lol, I hardly ever resteep anything anymore. I am quite enjoying the calming sensation from this tea, and how it warms me fully, even my emotions. I would consider ordering this again just for the good vibes I get from it! :)