2017 Yunnan Organic Shou

2017 Yunnan Shu Organic - wrapped

This beeng was ordered way back in mid-April from House of Tea as an emergency stash reinforcement, when we were unsure as to how the unfolding pandemic was going to affect the tea supply.

2017 Yunnan Shu Organic - unwrapped

House of Tea’s notes tell us pretty much what you’d have guessed from the title of this post, namely that this is a pressing of organically grown material from 2017 that comes from an unspecified location in Yunnan.

2017 Yunnan Shu Organic - unwrapped closeup

The dry leaf smells exactly as you’d expect a typical clean, fresh shou to.

2017 Yunnan Shu Organic - dry leaf

Steeping method
Water Used: Filtered tap water
Weight of dry leaf: 7.5 grams
Infusion style: Gong-fu
Steeping vessel: 150 ml unglazed clay teapot
Water temperature: 100°C
No. & duration: a flash rinse, then infusions of 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 90, and 120 seconds duration, for a total of 8 infusions

After the rinse the leaves were all about wood chips, paper, and camphor.

The first infusion had the old usual warm, earthy shou feel to it. The soup was slick and spicy, fizzing away inside the mouth, and tickling the back of the throat. The aroma left in the empty cup was complex and somewhat spicy but mostly cinnamon like, something that suggested Indian spice mix garam masala.

2017 Yunnan Shu Organic - a cup of

The next round conjured up tantalizing hints of vanilla and flowers, that felt as though they were dancing just beyond reach on the tip of the tongue.

The infusions towards the middle of the session saw the broth thicken up into a potent lip-sticker, and an upper body drenching sweaty Qi unleashed.

After the sixth round the quality of the liquor started to slip, but I hung on until the eighth, by which time the leaves had clearly given all they had to offer.

2017 Yunnan Shu Organic - used leaves


This cake was bought as a no-nonsense daily drinker, specifically for the post evening meal digestive tract degreasant role, something it’s proved to be very good at.

Having said that, I also think there’s enough quality here for it to also work as the kind of beeng you unwrap for a late afternoon / early evening stand alone type of session. It has a definite autumnal feel to it, too, all shortening days and candlelight.

Good stuff.

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