Brewed this again last night in my gaiwan. I had left it alone for months. My first attempt at brewing it didn’t go very well, but I’m now certain that the method I used at that time was wrong for this tea. Verdant’s steeping notes for Sheng Pu-er generally prescribe 7 grams of leaves for Gongfu brewing, and I think I must have missed the note that for this Farmer’s Cooperative tea a pretty big exception to the general rule is suggested. For this tea, no more than 1 teaspoon of leaves is prescribed for Gongfu brewing. It seems like too little when you’re looking at it, but these leaves are apparently loaded with flavor. Verdant also suggests that you wash the tea twice before drinking any of it, and I think that definitely makes a difference. Following these guidelines last night, I found the Farmer’s Cooperative deeply satisfying.
This is the tea I remember impressing me when I initially tried it at Verdant Tea’s first pu-er tasting. I love the slight numbing sensation that it produces in the mouth, somewhat like menthol in its effect. Probably had around six infusions before I had to leave the apartment, so I haven’t even reached the peak of its profile yet. It’s still in the gaiwan and I plan to drink more as the day progresses.
Nothing else of detail to say at the moment, except that this is really an excellent tea! I’m glad I learned how to properly prepare it because the first time I tried (using too many leaves) I thought the tea was not so good. I was preferring to drink Verdant’s Golden Strand Shou while I neglected this one, perhaps only because I was preparing that one right and this one wrong. But then they’re two different classes of pu-er, and really suited to two different moods, so I’m not making a direct comparison. I’ll have to return to the Golden Strand as well at some point and post some notes on that one. For a Sheng Pu-er, the Farmer’s Cooperative has come back into my sight, restored to the great appreciation it deserves. This is a tea worth giving your attention to.