So, I think this might be the smoothest, cleanest tasting Shou that I’ve not only only had in recent memory but perhaps just in general? I’ve been sitting on a sample of it for a little white now and I honestly didn’t have any intention to brew it up any time soon but some people were talking about it a while back on the Slack chat & I got curious. I have to wholeheartedly agree that it almost doesn’t even taste like Shou…

I did not take individual steep notes, nor did I weigh out the amount of tea leaf I use/time my infusions. Basically I just found a chunk of my sample that looked satisfying/about right and then went with gut feeling. Sometimes I like to be really precise, but other times I feel like just rolling with what my gut tells me to do produces some of the most relaxing, peaceful sessions that experience wise are the most satisfying to be doing.

By my best estimate I’d wager I had around twenty infusions all in all give or take a couple. For me, this was an all day sort of tea that I broke up over several hours. Have like five or six infusions, go do something else for a few hours, come back and repeat. I listened to a few different things throughout but the best was popping on a Bears in Hazenmore EP and enjoying listening to that. I mean, fitting band name aside it was just nice music to listen to.

Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL87NPs59pOxMUXH047aX7G0nq_ILagF6F

Video Pairing: https://www.instagram.com/p/BetVxpjFQhJ/?taken-by=ros_strange

Taste wise I feel like the best way I could sum up the entire session would just be by saying that on the whole the profile was very, very clean and smooth with the most consistent flavour notes being things like sweet dates/figs, wood, and petrichor. Obviously over roughly twenty infusions you’re going to experience some variation and a lot more flavours kind of weaving in and out of the steeps, but those were the main ones and ultimately the most enjoyable as well.

Highly, highly recommend trying this tea if you get the chance to.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BetbBsllmuJ/?taken-by=ros_strange

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My name is Kelly. I’m a mid twenties tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually about five years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more than straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

A personal goal of mine has been to do a proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for. I can’t say I’ve been doing great staying on track with this goal, but I haven’t forgotten about it!

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, and honey, but only in moderation.

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, often Chai spices in general, mushrooms, overly vegetal or marine/seaweed, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/looking to try: Shou Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas!

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Wood Fired Old Man: Leopold

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.


SK, Canada



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