This tea has some very familiar shou notes, but the progression of this tea over a session is quite different from what I’m used to.
I’ve been paying less attention to my exact brewing lately, so I couldn’t say what it was, but my general pattern for shou is 20 second rinse, 10 second brew once it starts to open up, slowly progressing from there.
The wet leaf aroma of this tea didn’t wow me — fairly common wet leaf pile smell. The liquor has a fruity aroma with light hints of spice and earth. It’s brews up a very clean amber red color and never gets dark like a highly fermented shou, although is does darken halfway through the session. The body matches the look, being light and crisp — contrary to other reviewers I did not find it at all thick or creamy (despite the tea’s name).
However, the taste very much lives up to the name. Right off the bat I’m hit with notes of raspberry and sweet cream. As the session progresses the raspberry gives way to other fruits, first peach and then fresh apple cider, always with that sweet and creamy backing. Having too much of this tea too quickly is almost overwhelmingly sweet, like gorging on peach pie covered in whipped cream.
However, halfway through the session the tea does the opposite of maybe every shou I’ve had and gets less fruity and sweet. At this point I get a respite from the unending sweetness and can enjoy some balance. There’s a fresh, loamy earth flavor that replaces the sweet cream and calms the sweetness of the apple cider flavor. It’s joined by some added depth from minerality and a tingling on the tongue.
Overall a very solid tea for those that like a sweet shou. I didn’t get any qi from it, but the flavor was quite enjoyable (especially once the sweetness toned down slightly). I do wish it had a bit more body since that would have complimented the creamy flavor quite nicely.
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Fruity, Loam, Mineral, Peach, Raspberry, Sweet, Wet Earth