I have been on the hunt for a superior quality shu for quite some time, when I recently stumbled upon this one at puerh.sk. I have bought from Peter a few times in the past, and I have not once been disappointed. For me every time I have drunk shu I have ended up being bitterly disappointed. With good faith and trust I ordered a full 250gram Tuo and discussed with Peter my reservations regarding my previous experiences with Shu. Amazingly Peter said he would give me a sample to try with my order, and if I did not enjoy it I could send him back the full Tuo for a refund, no questions asked. Now, how is that for service and full confidence in his product.
There was much anticipation when my order arrived. Inside my package was the generous sample which I quickly began brewing in my 140ml gaiwan. Here are my notes.
After a quick rinse I smelt the wet leaves. A rich, nicely aged aroma filled my nostrils with anticipation of good things to come. After the rinse I then steeped for 2 minutes, as per Peter’s instructions. The end result: A thick, dense, dark liquid that to me almost looked like melted dark chocolate. The taste, well simply sublime. Not a hint of bitterness, no horrible “fishy” taste. I am not the best person at describing specific flavours, all I can say is that the taste is thick, bold, rich, aged, with a lovely returning sweetness at the back of the throat that lasts ages. It is simply “yummy”.
Further steepings yield the same results. This tea has immense power and flavour that last many, many steepings. To put things into perspective I must have filled up my 250ml cup at least 5-6 times. The liquid goes from the dark chocolate to amber with multiple steepings, however the taste and returning sweetness is still there. The more you push this tea, the more it delivers. No problem leaving the leaves overnight…just rinse and carry on steeping the next day.
As a test I wanted to see the differences between brewing this in a gaiwan and a yixing. I found that when brewing in a gaiwan the flavour was more bold, aggressive and “in your face” so to speak. With a yixing I found that the boldness was tamed, and the overall flavour was more soft, mellow and balanced. In my opinion both are equally as good.
At 99 euros for 250grams this is also a very good deal, considering how many steeps you can get per 7-8 grams. Shu of this quality is a rarity and I am so glad that Peter has made this available for those looking for excellent quality shu.
So overall this is a fantastic tea, probably the best puerh I have drunk this year. For those that are sceptical about shu at least give this one a try. If you are disappointed I will buy it from you :)
I have not bothered to put in steeping times as you will very quickly work out what works best for you.