It’s been a long time coming but I finally feel like I’m in a place where I have enough experience that I can genuinely talk about shou in a meaningful way. I got this sample over a month ago, and tried it about a week after I got it and it was not great, it was plainly boring and empty, so I let it sit for quite a while, and today I’m drinking this and I am shocked, this is probably the most distinctive shou I’ve ever had:
the first thing I noticed was the heavy compression, which is something I tend to try and avoid with puerh in general, because I love making my shou as dark and oily as possible, and the compression makes that .. difficult? Anyway, after my rinses, the first steep was a lighter colour, but when I tasted it I was overtaken with this beautiful blueberry/blackberry note, which I have not come across in shu before and is one of my favourite flavours in tea. As the session continues, the tea is creamy and milky, strawberry, chocolate, caramel, mint, an active mouthfeel with a bit of a tingle yet fat and oily even though the soup is lighter in colour. it feels like a fruity, delicate black tea met a fat, dark shou and those are my two favourite things.