Fox really loaded me up with samples. I still have two more for review!
I am not quite sure what Grade 3 denotes with this tea as far as quality, but either way it has no effect on my opinion about it.
The dry leaf smells of mushroom predominantly with a hint of cocoa. There is a slight musty smell that I cannot discern...Not sure if it is from wet storage or just an attribute. It could just be because it happens to be a shou pu.
The aroma of the liquor, not surprisingly, is mushroom.
A hint of rye is present in the mix as well.
Rye is something I have never found in a tea before.
The liquor is surprisingly sweet for a shou; a caramel sweetness.
If anyone has tried mugicha, that is what this tea reminded me of. Mugicha is a Japanese tisane made with barley that slightly resembles the taste of a cassia seed.
It slides down with a smooth, silky texture. Camphor; cooling.
Latter infusions bring about a musty / dampness.
It is also quite sour around the 6th infusion, a quality I see as negative.
This was a decent shou.
Not many people think shou has much to offer, but I find that there is immense variety if one looks close enough.
Comfort on a Friday afternoon.
Fox's review here.