Monday, October 25, 2021

Shu oatmilk latte + other abominables

A few years ago when I used to prance around downtown Oakland for noodles and bobas, a new boba joint was offering puerh macchiatos. At the time, I was curious (and somewhat disgusted)  but not enough to forgo my usual matcha latte.  And now that cafe is long defunct and I no longer frequent boba joints. 

A few months ago, I had been quaffing some pretty good shu ('09 YS Lao Cha Tou Sheng Yun) and it was not flagging anytime soon.  There's only so much straight up shu a girl can take.  At the 5th brew, I decided to switch it up with some oatmilk remembering my missed opportunity.  It wasn't so bad and soon this combo grew on me that I finally finished last of my brick that I opened in 2017.

Whence came mold?
I went to fetch a new brick only to find white mold spots on the outside wrapping. The brick underneath appeared to be unharmed. It's been a really humid week with the pineapple express drenching the Bay Area with buckets of water.  Inside the teacloset it's 41% RH right now. The shu is stored outside in the overflow area which is at 50%RH.  I guess it's good that there's humidity enough but one doesn't want a mold outbreak either.  I'll have to do a complete inspection which I haven't done in several years.

This lao cha tou and my other shus in general has not aged well, the exception being the lighter shu with a sheng blend. The earlier lively tastes from a few years ago are no longer present.  There is some controversy over whether shu can age and I would say paying a lot for aged shu is probably not the best idea.  

So what to do with a cabinet full of badly aging shu? It's definitely drinkable and at worst I'll have it as latte. The oatmilk really rounds out any off fishy flavors. There are purists who think milky additives are an abomination on proper tea. While I wouldn't defile high quality leaf this way, I'm going to take any route that makes my  shu more fun to drink.


  1. You can brew shu in an infuser (basically like breakfast tea) and then whip butter into it with an immersion blender. I make this frequently for spouse, using a couple tsp of butter for a coffee-mug-size serving.

    1. Dear Aardvark,
      That sounds absolutely delicious! Is it a variation on Tibetan tea? Do you use salted butter?

      It's too bad I can't eat butter or cheese any more for many years. I may try it with coconut cream tomorrow.