Today was a fun day, I hung out with one of my good friends (who in a few months will be a house mate with Ben and me) while enjoying a beautiful day. It was extra auspicious when at a thrift store I found a new tea-set, it is a kyusu with three matching cups which I am officially deeming our tea-set for when we hang out and all three have the same tea. After depositing said friend back at his domicile, Ben and I decided to lounge in bed with a giant pile of lasagna and watch All That and Gargantua 2, because we are nerds.
It has been a while since I took a look at a Shou Puerh, which is tragic, lately I have been on a Sheng kick since it evokes spring to me, and Shou evokes late summer and fall, and it comforts me during the cold months. But, it also reminds me of lush northern forests, which I am feeling the strong need for frolicking in, so with that I give you Whispering Pines Tea Co's 2012 Huron Gold Needle Shou Pu-erh! From 2012, grown in Xishuangbanna and stored in a fancy temperature and humidity controlled vault by everyone's favorite Tea Hobbit at WPT. The aroma of the rather pretty golden Puerh is something else, one of those reasons we need scratch and sniff technology, it is deep and heavy, sniffing it is liked sinking into a forest floor, one of those forests where the loam is so dense that the floor feels springy. There are notes of wet wood, loam, pine forest...and here is where it gets really fun, cherry wood and cocoa, yeah, there are cocoa notes in this, which is pretty darn cool.
Doing the usual toss the leaves into the elephant Duan Ni and then giving it a rinse, when I wrote the notes for this one in my tea notebook I was sharing with Ben and said tea friend (ok, his name is Fish, I am tired of calling him tea friend!) because we wanted to get tea drunk off of a Puerh. The aroma of the now soggy leaves is a very foresty thing, the notes are strong loam and mushroom soil, it is very much a mixed wood forest rather than a strictly pine forest like some of the puerhs I stick my nose into. The liquid is so foresty, it is really transporting me to a lush, heavily rained on forest with a thick blanket of loam and a finishing notes of really sweet chocolate.
Ooh, that first steep is fine! Delightfully smooth to the point of silky, like biting into a sweet chocolate bar accompanied by pine sap and rich loam. I am really loving the mouthfeel and chocolate notes the most I think, I mean yeah, that forest loam taste is great, but it is not often you get to mix loam and chocolate in the same tea.
Onward to the second steep, it is like an adventure, going deeper into the recently rained on forest, you smell the rich and very thick loam with notes of mushrooms and wet wood. This time around the taste is not as sweet, we are getting a full force of forest, I ate the chocolate bar at the beginning of the path and have now surrendered to the forest completely. The mouthfeel is still super smooth, and the sipping experience finishes out with wet pine wood and a touch of mushrooms.
The aroma of the third steep is not changed much from the second, still very potent loam and wet wood of a healthy forest. It very much so evokes the forests I rambled around in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Like the second steep, this one only has a glimmer of sweetness and a full face full of loam, the mouthfeel has become thick, and I feel like I am sinking into the forest, it is heavy and sleepy. I am loving the heavy chi coming off this tea, me thinks I will keep it around to drink when I have a serious chi stagnation, it feels very invigorating. Many steeps were had, tea drunkitude was very much so achieved!