I am just about at the end of this sample – It made I have no idea how many pots of tea, maybe 10? It seemed like a ton! I’ve lost count over the last few days. My last steep wasn’t particularly long, but for the first time I can tell it is getting to the end. I’ll probably do one more longer steep, but I can definitely say this lasted a longgg time.
When I opened it, the earthy smell seemed less pronounced than others that I’ve tried (that is a very small list anyway). Dry, it reminded me of charcoal leftover after a bonfire – the layers were so interesting. After rinsing, I was surprised at how many small bits of tea went through the strainer (I have a large strainer that fits in the teapot and so far this is the first time I’ve ever had anything go through it; it is very fine) but they remained settled at the bottom and didn’t have any affect whatsoever on the drinking experience.
My first steep was quite dark, but I should have left it a little longer (I’m still a bit afraid of turning it into fish soup…I don’t even know if that would happen but I’ve been doing short steeps to minimize the chance that I’ll need to pour it down the drain). It didn’t taste nearly as strong as I expected, but it had a strong smell that was clean, crisp, and earthy. Subsequent steeps were a bit longer (I’ve been judging based on colour mostly, once it gets nice and dark I take the leaves out) and each steep has been flavourful.
I’ll admit that the crumblyness and bits on the bottom had me worried at first, but this is definitely a very well rounded tea. Mellow is a great way to describe it and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, particularly to someone who is either new to puerh or who – like me – has had bad experiences in the past!