I received a generous 7.4g sample of this from Liquid Proust. I’m not usually a ripe pu drinker but I’ll try any tea once, especially if it has some age on it and a fancy name on the label. This tea is quite compressed – I was surprised the scale read 7.4g for this little chunk. I broke it up a bit into larger flakes to speed up the opening of the cake. The rinsed leaf has a nice, earthy nuttiness in its aroma.
Despite my best efforts, the leaves look more like shou nuggets than loose tea after 2 rinses and some extended rests with the gaiwan lid on. That’s okay, I’ll let the cake open on its own time.
This stuff brews up very dark and opaque, almost coffee-like. The liquor is super smooth and easy to drink. It has some sweetness but the primary flavor is extremely soft earth forest floor. There are no off flavors or aromas to be found here – this is a very clean, well made tea.
The flavor remains much the same through the middle steeps but it does get a little bit of thickness to it. At this point I was about to set this tea off to the side and come back to it later BUT there’s some sneaky qi happening here. It’s relaxing but swimmy. I’m sweating and a bit numb in the face.
So, I think this shou is pretty good. It probably won’t change your mind if you’re like me and don’t really like shou, but I’m happy to have had the experience of drinking a higher quality shou like this.