A huge thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this free sample! I received them earlier this week and am diving into this one tonight. Yes it is a bit late for pu’erh, but it’s shu, which is warming, cozy and sometimes very relaxing for me. So we will give it a go this late! :D
The dry leaves smell oh so good, musty, damp wood, a log in the forest. I love that smell, and immediately said to my bf’s brother “I will like this tea, it smells like a damp, musty log!” LOL, you know you like tea too much when…anyways, I was a bit unsure of parameters for brewing this one, so I did 2 short 15s rinses and then a first steep of 30s. I am using about 1.25 tsp in approx 9-12oz water (not sure on the cup’s capacity, it’s one of my smaller mugs though). The steeped scent was heady and rich in the rinses, and has now given way to an actual sweet aroma! Sweet, with hints of must and chocolate. Interesting, haven’t had a noticeably sweet aroma in many shu puerhs yet!
As for the flavor, mmmm this is mellow, lightly earthy and a bit sweet in flavor. Yum, it is like my beloved Noble Mark, but with a bit less mushroom flavor and more sweetness. There is a noticeable sweet aftertaste. It is rich and full bodied, but not harsh and not overly strong either. Just yummy! I am feeling a tiny bit of cha-qi from this, a slight alertness, but hoping this fades into that pu’erh calm that I enjoy immensely.
Overall, this is a rich, satisfying brew. Notes of caramel, earth, mushrooms and a bit of chocolate prevail. Tasty, with a slight tea buzz coming on, but nothing crazy yet. Happy to have tried this, and as I taste this tea more, it might be a contender for my top shu. It has a lot of notes that I am enjoying! Thanks again to the lovely Angel for sending me this tea to try!
ETA – the energizing cha-qi did drop off and lead into a more relaxed feeling, I am very happy about that as I will be able to sleep good tonight! :D
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Mushrooms, Wood