Dry leaf appeaance – shiny, leathery slickness; slightly bigger, well-defined leaves
Dry smell – earthy, spring forest, cocoa, packed brown sugar, cookie butter, brownie batter
Wet leaf smell – dark chocolate, forest floor, dark caramel, hazelnut truffles, pumpernickel bread, double chocolate cookie dough
Liquor – dark, blood orange, almost burgundy brandy colour; quite opaque but minimal cloudiness
Texture – velvety smooth, quite thick, coats the mouth and throat nicely
Taste – sweet and light, dark chocolate/hazelnut spread over typical earthy shou taste; a tiny bit of a bitter bite at the end that adds a nice balance
Empty cup – light maple syrup
Mouth finish – when the chocolatey sweetness ends and the slight note of bitterness kicks in, the mouth coating sort of explodes and produces a lubricating salivation. A light hint of maple syrup at the back of the throat just like the empty cup smells
Wet leaves – nice, full leaves; a tiny twig or two per mini cake, but it is quite a negligible amount
Body feel – heavy in the head, but it does spread downwards throughout the whole body ending with a nice tingle in the feet. It has a nice, relaxing qi that is nice for kicking back with a good book.
This is probably my favourite Shou that I’ve had so far in my gong fu journey. It has basically everything I could hope for, from the lack of wet-pile taste, to the sweet, well-balanced flavour and velvety texture. Smoove Cocoa has something to offer all the senses, so it’s a great tea to enjoy in a mindful session. I typically like to drink shous when I don’t have much investment in the session itself and just want something nice to sip on, but this is a clear exception.