This will be… I think the third of WYMM Tea’s Menghai Shou Puer I have tried. So far, my favorite is the Third Grade. I tried two other grades in an earlier batch of samples. This First Grade Shou contains the smallest leaves and buds of the different grades of Shou Puer.
After a rinse, the leaves of this Puer smell sweet and musty. I get the scent of sweet dough and a hint of the dusty, musty smell you encounter in a basement or a cave. There is also a bit of petrichor, the smell that arises when it begins to rain, and the scent of mineral. Combine all that with a hint of pipe tobacco, and it creates a rather sweet, rustic, complex smell. The brewed tea itself smells even more like a sweet pastry dough.
The taste is really smooth and earthy, and surprisingly less sweet than I expected from the scent. It’s really difficult to describe this flavor, but I might almost say it tastes like a good Sumatran coffee would if it had none of the bitterness. It’s earthy with cacao notes. After the sip there is a lingering sweetness, and a really wet feeling in the mouth, also a bit of a lingering taste like the aftertaste of dark chocolate. The most outstanding factor while drinking this is just how smooth it is. It is really pleasant feeling in the mouth and throat. Very clean.
The next infusion is sweeter than the first and yet again very smooth. The taste is a bit woody, earthy, and again I’m reminded of petrichor. Really subtle and easy to drink. Later infusions had similar character to them. Throughout many steepings this tea remained very smooth and clean, with a mellow taste. It’s a dark, relaxing cozy tea. It has no bitterness or astringency at all, and in some infusions a mild sweetness is present. If you enjoy dark earthy flavors but more on the subtle side than the bold side, this tea would make a great choice.
Flavors: Cacao, Coffee, Earth, Musty, petrichor, Wood