This is a sample I’ve had for a really long time, but never opened. I am really pleased that I finally did.
This is unlike any pu-erh I have had to date, and in a very good way. I rinsed twice and then steeped in the gaiwan with boiling water for 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 120, 240, 260 and 480 seconds. And for once, I didn’t feel in a rush to get through the steeps.
Because this tastes more like a Yunnan black to me than a pu erh. Yes, it has something of an earthiness to it that makes me know it is pu erh. But unlike other shus I have had recently, this one’s primary flavor profile isn’t earth, leather, and mushrooms.
Instead, this has a sugary sweetness to it. The note starts as a dark and heavy one, like molasses and evolves into brown sugar by around the sixth steep. Around the second steep, I even got something a little like cocoa. I hesitate to call this malty, because it doesn’t have the sort of depth I associate with maltiness, but it is mild and smooth.
There was a slight fishiness coming from the packet, but it washed completely away in the rinse. The liquor started very dark, like bourbon, and over time lightened up to a more medium amber.
While the tea didn’t undergo a dramatic transformation, it was sweetly delicious throughout.
I’m a little afraid I liked it because it wasn’t like pu erh. But who’s counting?
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Earth, Molasses