First cup. Steep 5 minutes.
The taste is like a very clean cup of black tea, similar even to a red rooibos tea, but less sweet. A bit of that old musty aroma common in some pu-erhs. The color is a rich reddish brown, but there is little taste. Honestly, this tea does not do much for me. I added some sugar: no major revelations.
First cup. Second tasting.
The tea proved to be a little more enjoyable at room temperature. With a longer steep and perhaps more sugar or flavoring, I could see this being an admirable iced tea. Though I suppose that defeats the purpose of the Gongfu ceremony traditionally used to brew pu-erh.
Second cup. Steep 10 minutes.
Given that this is a pu-erh, which should yield different tasting notes with each brew (and should be able to withstand multiple steeps), I decided to give this tea another try. Something that was not mentioned in my purely aesthetic review above is that despite the bland taste, this is a strongly medicinal tea with powerful antioxidants. Most medicinal teas have an overwhelmingly spicy or herbal taste, so I think there is something noteworthy in a tea that is very mild but very powerful. Especially if you believe in the weight loss and cholesterol suppression benefits of pu-erh. If you are on a limited diet or a diet consisting of mostly mild food options, the last thing you probably want in a tea is something extremely spicy or sugary-tasting.
Despite all of that, little has changed in my tasting experience with this second cup. There is a slightly more nuanced sweet and smoky tea flavor, but not a huge difference. For getting the most flavor out of this tea, I would suggest doing 1 long steep for up to 15 minutes. And there you have it.