I surprise myself, resisting all evolutionary tactics of self-preservation, and drink something that immediately smells like old compost and a grandmother’s boudoir. The aroma is strong and thick with talcum powder, black humus, and musty cellar. I rinse twice.
This tea does reveal an early hint of quality, by showing stunning clarity in the first pour. Nonetheless, the intense milky talc dominates the front edge of this tea. Old, dried maple twigs come to mind. Sweetness moderates the long finish. A tea to be sipped very slowly, as it has strong potency. Later steeps lose the mustiness and pick up sweetened grains.
The qi is a bit unsettling to me. It’s foggy and full of cobwebs, making me feel a bit distant. I’m not sure that well-aged shu is for me, or at least examples aged similarly to this one.