Just made another pot of this last night with some friends and I wanted to revise my previous comments. I am a self-taught pu-erh drinker which means that up until recently there was an enormous gap in my knowledge of how the ceremony actually works and what to expect from each steep. I am fine tuning my expectations as I go and learning how to enjoy pu-erh unique to other teas.
First off, if you are steeping a pu-erh and it doesn’t taste like much, don’t brew it for longer in the same water as I mistakenly did the first time round. The pu-erh flavor actually does develop as you continue to “wash” it in multiple short steeps. Pour out all of the tea liquid in the pot and put fresh hot water in, then repeat. (Thank you kOmpir for your detailed time appraisal!)
What happens as you prolong the ceremony is kind of magic. With each steep, the color is slightly different as is the taste. This method will definitely help you to appreciate the appearance of your teas more and I would highly suggest using clear glassware so that you can see the tea from every angle. The flavor, while still subtle, changes from clear to honey to smoky to spicy to stone.
My new rating now reflects an appreciation of the ceremony involved with making this tea as well as a minor change in understanding the taste. When it comes to pu-erh, my palette is still fledgling, but it will be developing quickly as I will be reviewing many new pu-erhs in the coming weeks.