I received this tea as a free sample from The Tea Guy (many thanks!) and am finally getting around to trying it. The aroma of the dry leaf is subtle enough that I’m not sure what to expect, so I go into the first steep blind. I skip the wash, wanting to get as much of a sense of the tea as I can (plus, it’s loose leaf, so doesn’t need to break apart), and I let it steep just long enough to get dark.
There is a bit of storage flavor in the first infusion, and it’s got both a creamy mouthfeel and a hint of creamy flavor notes. The finish—especially by the time I’m downing the last of the first steep—is like a milky coffee with a bit of earth at the back of the throat. The flavor also coats the mouth and lingers for quite a bit.
Oddly enough, I think I taste the storage more in the second infusion than the first. As I sip, I visualize barrels being rained upon in the garden, a blend of wet wood and petrichor dominating the aroma.
Flavor evens out into a stable blend of lightly woody, creamy and sweet. Overall, an easy to drink shou with more complexity than I was expecting. That could very well be attributable to the fact that it does seem to have a bit of wet storage flavor to it, which I am a fan of. I may try going warrior style on this one since I’ve still got a good bit of sample left.
Flavors: Coffee, Creamy, Dust, Petrichor, Smooth, Sweet, Wet Wood