I think Reno knows I’m headed to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow. It’s been rainy and grey for the past couple of days. This damp cold winter weather is perfect for drinking more shou pu. Continuing on my Crimson Lotus samplers, I cracked into Stormbreaker.
The material is beautiful and the resulting liquor delicious. Storm Breaker brews up dark, smells as sweet as a freshly-baked pastry, and goes down smoother than whole milk. It’s such a fantastically clean tea.
All concern for tasting notes aside (which can get pretty convoluted anyhow), there are a few simple things I look for when drinking shou pu’er . This goes for all teas, but with such a ＴＨＩＣＣ drink like shou, these hold especially easy to look for. The common traits in shou I set as a standard to try and “detect” (though usually they are very blatantly obvious) are:
Silky, Soft, glutinous (sticky like rice) and fragrance. All of these combined, I generally try to make the tea as ＴＨＩＣＣ as possible. Another feature of well-produced or well aged/stored shou is a clean taste. Not all shous are created equal, and generally will tick off a few of these boxes rather than all of them at once. In Storm Breaker, I get a very soft, silky tea. Storm Breaker is not extraordinarily glutinous. It’s liquor and wet leaf are both fragrant, though does not possess the kind of bold fragrance I get from, say, a sheng pu’er that can fill the whole upstairs with the tea’s scent. I get lots of sweet bread hints in this tea. The specific taste that comes to my mind is the throat flavor left over a minute or two after swallowing a bite of a Madeleine. Storm Breaker is not a certified ＴＨＩＣＣ tea, though that is not a negative here. This tea is as silky smooth as a lake’s surface at dawn.
Accompanying the sweetbread are faint notes dark chocolate. I get a mushroomy aftertaste from Stormbreaker, and a sweetness that lingers in the throat long after I’m done with my cup. Some people might vibe with that, others might not. After trying teas and reading around online, I tend to find that in any given “review” or blog post, maybe a part or two holds true to my experience, while other parts less so. That’s the beauty of subjectivity, I suppose.
All said and done, drinking this makes me want to run down to the store and buy a super dark chocolate bar. One of those bars with some endangered animals on it, and cocoa nibs thrown in. Storm Breaker as an entire experience is extremely silky, soft, and fragrant. The flavors may very from person to person, but I would think notes aside, most would agree this tea is undeniably sweet. It’s difficult to explain how “clean” a tea is, but Storm Breaker is clean when compared to, say, the Nannuo mini-shrooms. This isn’t to say that the shrooms are “dirty” by comparison. They posses a flavor profile that is vibrant and energetic, but can’t be said to be nearly as clean as that of Storm Breaker…
…That said the one thing that is not clean about Storm Breaker is it’s body effect. I am literally buzzing in my seat. This tea has no chill, carrying with it a warming and energetic qi.