Gongfu, with a gaiwan. Sample from a “puer starting pack”, courtesy of Liquid Proust. used full sample, which is quite large . I don’t have a scale, but dry leaves fill half of gaiwan. Lots of twigs, but this is to be expected.
Steeps: rinse, f, f, f, f, 10s, 10, 30, 1min, 1.30, 2, 4, 6, and finished grandpa style.
1&2 : faint forest floor aroma, slightly smoky. No funky smells. Lovely dark red liquor, somehow harsh in the back of the mouth. Drying feeling.
3: More viscous. Taste and mouthfeel, which were a bit flat before, are getting more complex. Slightly sweet and malty. Found a hair. At least it’s not curly (That joke has been done to death by now).
5&6: As dark as a stout. Surprisingly clean taste. Bittersweet aftertaste.
9: Bitternes is coming forward (due to longer steeps), leaving a chalky aftertaste. But maybe the insanely hard water over here has something to do with it. I would prefer a bit sweeter brew, but I don’t mind trading sweetnes for a thicker liquor.
12: It is getting thin, sweetnes is back again.
After 12 steeps I am finishing this grandpa style. Overall, I liked this tea. Hard to say anything substantial, since I haven’t had a lot of shou yet (and this is why I am not rating it). I would have liked some more depth and sweetnes, though.
Flavors: Forest Floor, Smoke