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Recent Tasting Notes
It’s been quite a while since since I’ve written a review. However, my wife & I have been enjoying shou puerh every morning since being introduced to it here on Steepster. Yes, we’ve come over to the Dark side! :-)
Courtesy of a very kind Steepster friend, I brewed this Haiwan shou Gongfu style: 15g / 6 oz. / 205° / 5-sec rinse / 20-min rest / 5, 5, 10, 10, 15, 30, 60, 120-sec for a total of 8 6-oz. infusions. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.
I understand that this shou is known by at least three different names: Supreme, Ultimate, and also perhaps Peerless.
Aroma: Faint cocoa or chocolate
This ripe pu-erh is dark yet light-bodied, velvety smooth, and somewhat rich w/o any astringency or bitterness. There were no off-putting flavors or aromas of any kind. However, there was a slight woody flavor at the end of the sip. I didn’t notice any cha qi. Additional infusions had the same “delicate” (my wife’s accurate & concise dsecription) flavor profile using longer brewing times.
Impression: I agree with mrmopar that this shou is better as an afternoon tea, as it’s not as robust and invigorating as is typically enjoyed with breakfast: https://steepster.com/mrmopar/posts/184618
tperez wrote an incisive review of the 2010 version: https://steepster.com/tperez/posts/337954#comments
Gong-Fu Brewing Method:
Please see my profile.
I have been enjoying this lovely ripe puerh yesterday evening and this afternoon in my xiying fish teapot.
I’ve been savoring shus a lot in the past few weeks. A few years ago I was having stomach pains and I went into a Chinese tea shop (that was also a liquor store) in San Francisco. The saleswoman said puerh is the least acidic of teas. I agree, at least on the cooked side of puerh.
This brick seems to be lightly fermented and it’s definitely mellow. Tea liquor is a reddish brown and has elements of earth, cinnamon and cocoa powder with no discernible bitterness. Aroma has a slight tobacco but doesn’t really have the bitter tobacco taste you sometimes find. Some shus are sweet and velvety, this one isn’t, but it has a lot of nice qualities just the same and I am appreciating it a lot. It gives a nice, cozy feeling.
On the wish list it goes!
p.s. I gave some to my boyfriend last night for his opinion and he said: “it tastes like tea”. lolol.
I had this tea at work today. I wish I’d written better notes, but I didn’t.
I really enjoyed it. Rich, not quite sweet, a touch earthy. This tea was comforting, energizing, soothing.
I loved the aroma.
Thank you, tea friend, for sending this along!! :)
Stream of conscious tasting:
Throat: Sweet chestnut. Faint Chinese sweet bread.
Oil: Very pleasant amount.
Brew aroma: Sweet earth, hint of chestnut, faint date, peach, some dry bark.
Length: Long. Feels very clean and brisk.
Mouth-feel: Creamy after third infusion.
Taste: Good amount of bite, earth, a bit of malt, very very faint sweetness that is perfect for me. After third infusion – Faint cream, very mellow and smooth, a bit of vanilla. Cinnamon and the non-sweet part of nutmeg.
Boychik sent me a sample of this one, and i figured today would be a good day to try it out. Since i’m losing yet another weekend to testing the release, our boss told us to try and take the day off – we all laughed because who can actually do that. However, we are all working from home today in an effort to at least have an easier day. I am for sure doing my best to get lots done but also take time to focus on my tea. I haven’t really taken notes on this one, but i have been enjoying the developing flavour of this one. I wasn’t impressed with the first couple of steepings, even after a quick rinse. however, as this has gone on, i’ve started to enjoy the smoothness of this one. I like that there’s a bit of fruitiness to this, though it’s softened by the woody notes here as well.
Thanks for sharing boychik! someday i’ll be better at this whole reviewing puerh sort off thing :)
Working my way through many Shu samples.
I’m starting to think Shu is like pizza. Most pizza is adequate. It’s really hard to mess up. When it is messed up though, it’s yucky stuff. And on the opposite end, when pizza is really good, then it’s really, really good.
This Shu falls into the “adequate” category. It’s fine. Nothing I’d probably crave or be memorable.
The flavor is very wood forward, leathery tannic kind of thing. There’s a very distinct fine leather smell to the wet leaves, think calf skin seats in a brand new Porsche.
I barely picked up any sweetness. Color of liquor is typical and very nice, deep reddish brown. The quality of the leaves look good.
No funkiness at all if you’re worried about this Shu. But definitely a lot of wood.
All in all, it’s fine, but with so much tea out there and so little time, nothing something I’d reach out for again, but wouldn’t necessarily turn it away either.
Flavors: Leather, Wood
This shu made me very happy. its aging nicely, very smooth with creamy mouthfeel. There are prunes and leather, but its not loud. it feels refined to me. the brew is dark burgundy color and clear, like wine.
5g 100ml gaiwan 212F
rinsed twice pause 5/5/10/15/20/30/45 sec
i will continue to brew it tomorrow.
i had several sessions for 2 days. this tea is incredibly smooth sweet. Wet leaves have strong smell of prunes. Tastes like leather(not strong) and prunes. Absolutely no earthiness. In fact its very creamy and thick. brew is dark maroon color.
5g 150ml gaiwan 212F
rinse 5/10/10/15/15/20/30/45 etc.
7g 150ml gaiwan
rinse 5/5/10/10/15/15/20 to be cont
Actually i had it last night. only after 3rd steep leaves started to open up and it became incredibly dark burgundy. Smooth, clean taste of dried fruits. it has like walnut aftertaste( not bitter but something hard to explain). After drinking i felt some warmth in my throat. i’m going to continue tonight. it sets me in a great mood,very calm, and i slept like a baby(good baby who is not teething yet, no ear aches, just blissful)
A very long time ago I had a puerh tea that was flavoured like a cinammon bun. It was so good I didn’t even realize I was drinking a puerh. I also know that quite a few people say puerh has “bready” qualities. Well, tonight I was looking for something sweet and bready so I chose this out of the mountain of puerh I received in a care package. (Thank you!) Sadly I didn’t get any yummy doughy deliciousness out of this one.
I measured about a teaspoon or so in a 8 oz glass gaiwan, and poured off-boiling water over it. The brew darkened instantly. I waited a 10 second rinse and proceeded with the first steep. Aah, there it is, the now recognizable shou smell. Not too bad but definitely sea-weed. I only steeped 15 seconds each for the first two steeps. I saved some of the first steep in a separate cup so I can compare with the second steep side by side. Didn’t notice much difference between the first and second steeps. The third steep was about 20 seconds. Still pretty dark clay in colour, I have a feeling this one will keep going and going. I can’t take a longer steep at this stage, I can barely do 20 seconds! Tastes better as it cools a little but I just don’t get any sort of flavour! A touch of bitterness maybe. Not burned green tea bitter but chew on mild coffee bean bitter. Gosh, can I make any less sense?
It is not unpleasant (omg, I had some shou that made me gag when I lifted the cup to drink) but I can’t say it’s doing much for me. It’s an ok companion for job browsing activities but I wouldn’t take it upstairs with a book or anything.
PS. Don’t know about the fourth steep, I need a break. I need a palate cleanser. The jury is undecided on this one. :)
This a very soft Yiwu. It starts out whispering to you when you break the cake. It is not tightly compressed as some of these are and actually has some nice full sized leaves in it and not “chopped” as a lot are. It carries a small touch of the bitter of a young sheng but it is very light. It has a nice floral and citrusy flavor to it that gives a tingle on the sides and tip of the tongue. It holds well through about 9 infusions with the honeyish flavor coming after the third steep. Nice quality cake to be factory made. I think it is apparent that some steps were made to bring this one up a few notches as we say. It gives you that touch of calm and relaxing feeling to it. Nicely done in all categories. Prepared in the Gaiwan 9 grams leaf, 5 second wash before first infusion.
Mineral and fruity seems to describe this one. brews dark has a touch of “woodiness” to it. Very complex kind of hard to pull individual notes out, but thick and oily and it all seems to work pretty well. i may have some mixed or muted tasting notes on this as I think a cold is coming on. but overall pretty good so far. 15grams in the yixing 1 rinse short 10 second steep.