My first pu-erh, courtesy of a fantastic sampler sent to me by Angrboda!
…Okay, I totally see what everyone is talking about with the smell. There is definitely a delicate odor of cow barn here. (When people talked about “barnyard”, I was imagining something like the hay and leather scent of a riding stable, but no: this, my friends, is cows.) Weirdly, though, it tastes like it smells and it tastes good; I don’t know what to make of this! I am, so far, confused by pu-erh tea.
I did the first few steeps at near-boiling, under thirty seconds, and then had a few with cooler water and longer times. The tea didn’t get noticeably bitter, but the first few steeps were juicier, I think. The color was an utterly gorgeous red-gold!
So: I am intrigued enough to come back for more. We shall see!