Holy cocoa! For a moment this morning I almost thought I had prepared some hot cocoa and not some shou! The cocoa/dark chocolate notes in this tea are the strongest I have ever experienced. This is not a deep, dark and smooth shou like I normally like, which just goes down so smooth. Nope, this one totally grabs your attention but in a good way.
So this was a much anticipated shou for me to try, coming recommended by Crimson Lotus Tea in a reddit thread where we accidentally discovered that we enjoy shou that brews “thick and dark, a bit like motor oil”. Also a big thumbs up to CLT for helping out with some shipping issues and making it possible for me to get my hands on this tea.
So it was a quick and somewhat haphazard session this morning as I am away from home dealing with some family issues, but I am very impressed. I used approximately 7g of tea in a 150ml gaiwan. Rinsed twice and let it sit for 30 seconds. The first steep was pretty weak (about 10 seconds). Steeped about 15-20 seconds for the second, and woah, strong cocoa notes and a deep burgundy colour! A bit bitter, but a good bitter like a dark chocolate. No fermentation flavour or maybe its just well hidden, and didn’t really feel any earthiness either. I got 4 good 15-20 second steeps out of this, the 5th was a bit flat. Steeped it again for about 3 minutes but after the earlier explosion of flavour this felt pretty tame. I have a feeling that once I am back home and able to have a calmer session with shorter intial steeps, I’ll be able to get more out of it. I also want to try this western style as it feels like it would make a nice hot cocoao substitute!
I’ll reserve final judgement until I’ve had a calmer session at home but I strongly expect I’ll be ordering more of this (on top of the 500g I already got). Hmm.. it comes in a 2kg brick….
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate