Saturday, September 19, 2015

Puerh Junky: 2013 Sweet Brick, Shancheng Tea Co, A Tea Review

I recently discovered something that might prove to be very dangerous. A beautiful little thing called Hero Forge, a site where you can design and then have created, a miniature based on your creation. This of course is geared towards people with RPG characters that just do not fit the various other minis out there, or for my purposes, creating a miniature of something that already exists but not in mini form. I have spent the better part of a year trying to find a miniature I can tweak into Prince Elien from Summoner Wars board game. Because Ben and I are total dorks we started with this as a competitive game, and very quickly weaved it into a massive story and RPG, His Royal Grumpiness as I affectionately call him, is one of the main players in this RPG and I wanted a mini, so soon I will finally have one.

Since the weather is getting cooler, my desire to drink Shou is stronger, I want that warming Qi to cuddle my insides like a fuzzy blanket, so today we are looking at Puerh Junky's 2013 Sweet Brick, Shancheng Tea Co. a Shou that is apparently an economy brand by Langhe Tea Factory. So far I have enjoyed the Shous I have had from Langhe Tea Factory because they blend sweetness with loamy notes, and they get me crazy tea drunk, but that could be because I was using my monster sized Elephant Duanni for Shou. The aroma of these tightly compressed leaves is very sweet, bordering on caramel and molasses, with sharp dry oak wood, and a touch of well loved leather. This Shou smells dry, not at all like a loamy forest floor, more like a cabin during summer.

So, introducing my newest friend, a teeny tiny micro pot, perfect for doing a ton of steeps of Shou, The liquid is thick, notes of molasses and malt, caramel, a touch of wet leather, and a tiny hint of wet slate waft from the still pretty compressed leaves. The liquid is sweet and woody, with a touch of loam, a nice burst of caramelized sugar, and a finish of slate and leather.

This tea starts thick and sweet, strong notes of molasses which almost makes me think of molasses with the texture. The initial sweetness moves to woodiness blending wet wood, dry wood, and a touch of loam. The finish is wet leather and lingers.

And right on to the second steep! The aroma is woody and sweet, and I can swear there is a cocoa note alone with the caramelized sugar and a hint of loam. The taste starts loamy and sweet, still a thick mouthfeel and thick Qi, I have that great sinking into my chair feeling I get when drinking a Shou, always makes me think of sinking into a pile of loam on a summer day. The finish is oak wood and a touch of wet leather which lingers. 

Third steep! The aroma is woody and malty, with a nice burst of cocoa and caramelized sugar. The mouthfeel is still thick but it takes on a creaminess this time as well, the taste starts with loam and molasses and moves to an even stronger loam note with a touch of cocoa and woodiness. No leather this time, just loam, cocoa and a finish of sweet woodiness that lingers. I got many more steeps out of this before it fades to nothing.

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