I’m not in a good headspace to do anything formal with this tea this morning, but it is the last of the January TotM pu-erh samples and so I do want to talk about it.

I love old shou. I really do.

I will confess, I’m not a huge fan of the 3-7g tuocha, however. They tend to be very tightly packed and thus take a while to open up.

These, however, do not. With a 10-20 second rinse, they open right up. First steep is a teensy bit thin, but by the second, you’re into that syrupy, deep, mellow shou flavor.

There is something genuinely different, if subtle, about the difference between, say, a five and a ten year old shou. Not as obvious as the differences between a five and ten year sheng, perhaps, but very real. The sweetness changes somehow.

It reminds me of what happens to your taste as you grow up. As a kid you want gummy worms. Pure corn syrup in bright colors. As a young adult, you want sweet cocktails. By middle age, you’re content with dark chocolate or a well made toffee. They’re all sweet. They’re all dessert, so to speak, but there’s something quite different going on in each case.

Old shou is like that for me. It is sweet. There’s no real way around that. But it isn’t a gummy worm or lemon drop martini kind of sweet.

By the end of this session, I may even be in a good mood.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

Hope your headspace is much happier now!

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