A nice smooth shou. Almost smooth to the point of being too light, but solid flavor.
“A nice smooth shou. Almost smooth to the point of being too light, but solid flavor.” Read full tasting note
“I’ve been sipping this for awhile, and it’s one of my go-to daily drinkers. The cake is heavily dried and tightly compressed. I can spot some gold curls spread throughout the top. I take a whiff...” Read full tasting note
“Thick and full bodied, very clean and forward earthy/woody flavors. Quite bright really, I’d almost venture to say that there is a little note of orange peel. Great long lasting mouthfeel, vibrant...” Read full tasting note
“This is an excellent tea with a fair amount of fermentation flavor to it. I did not get any fishy notes to the fermentation. It was thick and sweet with very little bitterness. I’d say there...” Read full tasting note
This cake’s wrapper says that it is gongting (imperial grade) but it is actually closer to special grade and first grade with gongting in the mix. Pressed and stored by a Puer producer in South China, we picked up the last of the production and decided to split it amongst our tea club members. This is the remaining stock! Pile fermentation smells have already left this cake; all that remains is a smooth, thick mouth feel and warming feeling in the gut. If you are a fan of heaviness and potential bitterness, overbrew a few extra grams. For fans of lighter tea, just brew normally.
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I’ve been sipping this for awhile, and it’s one of my go-to daily drinkers. The cake is heavily dried and tightly compressed. I can spot some gold curls spread throughout the top. I take a whiff and inhale a dried earth and light fungal tone. I break off a hefty chunk and throw it into the warmed gaiwan. I opened the lid and take in a wonderful bunch of scents. I spot wet sage and clay right off the bat, slowly I begin to pick up some earth and a rising petrichor. I washed the leaves a few times due to its heavy compression and begin my brewing. The steeped chunk finally un-bunches and releases a sweet damp leaf and soil aroma. The scent is heavy and thick. The brew consists of a dense and dark soup. The taste begins light and sweet with a brief cocoa tone. This thick drink gives a heavy and full mouth-feel with nice lubrication. The tea expresses some distinct earth tones that move throughout the senses. This liqour is full of curbed tones. It’s a nice balanced drink with its smooth heavy tastes and a light finish. The qi is beautifully warming and begins low in the gut and slowly travels up to the mind. This offering is not overly complex, but it’s a reliable Shou. The brew is good, steady, warming, and rich. The cake is not something I’m crazy about, but I enjoy having it, and I drink it at night before bed to warm myself up.
I really like how this came out
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Clay, Cocoa, Earth, Petrichor, Sage, Smooth, Wet Earth
Thick and full bodied, very clean and forward earthy/woody flavors. Quite bright really, I’d almost venture to say that there is a little note of orange peel. Great long lasting mouthfeel, vibrant and lively. Even minutes after finishing a cup sweet saliva is flowing. This tea spreads a nice warmth throughout the body.
Flavors: Earth, Orange Zest, Sweet, Wood
This is an excellent tea with a fair amount of fermentation flavor to it. I did not get any fishy notes to the fermentation. It was thick and sweet with very little bitterness. I’d say there were some chocolate notes in there but I really wasn’t paying attention so I’m not 100% sure. It was definitely sweet and somewhat fruity in later steeps. Overall I rate this quite highly as shou goes. I think a few more years of storage is necessary to remove the rest of the fermentation flavor.
I brewed this ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. The leaves weren’t done at ten steeps, if I wasn’t at my caffeine limit I’m sure I could get a few more steeps out of it.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
It’s a chilly day here in NC. Well, it’s under 65, so to me that’s chilly. Anyway, I was finishing up some Naka sheng from last night and not really feeling it, so I switched to ripe. I finally decided to break out the 2006 Gongting Shu cake from the October White2Tea club. It’s been airing out for a little over a month in the pumidor (aka “cabinet with all my tea.”) 5g in my 100ml gaiwan. Despite the cake being extremely compressed, I had no problem breaking it up with my pu needle. I could see where a more blunt ended pick or knife might be a problem, but my needle is flippin sharp because it isn’t actually a pu knife but a very mean looking pick I got for under $10 from a hardware store. I have a whole set actually, different angles and such. But the straight one works like a charm. And yes, I have stabbed myself with it and made a blood offering to the pu gods (not on purpose).
Back to the shu. I did not find this shu to be fishy or fermenty or gross in any way. I find it quite tasty actually. Now, I do have to admit that my palate might be weird where it comes to shu; other reviewers have not liked this one and my wife exclaimed “what the hell is that you’re drinking, it smells awful” when she walked near me. So, maybe it’s just me but I think this tea is very nice. Dark, rich, thick red/brown soup coats the tongue and throat. Earth, loam, peat, wet forest. It has a pleasant sourness reminiscent of Delirium Nocturnum, which is one of my favorite Belgian ales.
If you can make it past caffeine tsunami into later steeps, the sourness of the tea calms down a bit, and the flavor becomes mellow and smooth, with a touch of sweetness and yeast bread. But the caffeine… crikey I don’t know if I’m going to pass out or run a couple of miles and then pass out. 2Dog should consider renaming this tea to “Caffeinated as #$&%.”
Brewed this one up today. I notice I had the same problem as Christina. The chuck of tea just didn’t want to break up and I had to break it up manually. I did two quick rinses and then 10,10,10,10,15,15. Most of the infusions I took a few sips and threw out. It had a strong fermentation flavour and was just too woody & earthy. Later steeps it smoothed out a bit more but there was nothing there really pulling me in with this tea. I think this tea could go numerous steeps so I would be interesting to see what it tastes like after steep 6 or 7. I didn’t take it that far since it had major caffeine kick and was bothering my stomach a bit.
I took a chunk that was about 6.5 grams and rinsed it a few times. Then I did steeps of 10, 20, and 30 seconds, but even after all of that steeping, the chunk still didn’t break apart into smaller leaf. Ultimately, I had to break it apart by hand after the third steep to get any traction. The first steep was extremely light, though the longer steeps were darker. All in all, the brewed tea ranged from mid-orange to deep burgundy/red.
The taste was as uncompromising as the dry leaf. I didn’t get much flavour development beyond notes of fish, earth, and something resinous like cedar or pine. After the fourth steep I gave up, because this thing just wasn’t happening. I’ve heard that good shou can be really rich and chocolaty, but this tea was way too much effort for so little satisfaction.
Plus, I did not like the way I felt after drinking it. I started to notice the kind of jittery, tapped-out muscle tension that I feel when I don’t get enough sleep — a cold, stringy hissing across my body that made me feel like I had pulled an all-nighter!