I had no idea that World Market made Pu-Erh along with it’s other teas. When I saw this in the tea section, I absolutely had to try this. What a wonderful surprise to a shopping trip aimed at buying chocolate.
I edited this review to include several separate steepings
-I steeped this tea Gaiwan style, and did 30+ second steeps each time.
The leaves were chocolaty-brown, and several leaf buds were present. Longer leaves (and the name) hinted that this Pu-Erh may have been produced from Ancient Arbors. They smelled very earthy, but also malty and sweet. After “washing” the leaves for 10 seconds, I noticed a great woody aroma. This was very refreshing.
First Steeping: This is one of the lighter Pu-Erhs that I’ve had. It wasn’t as astringent as I had expected for a ripened “Shou” tea. The liquor was a dark, pinkish-brown, and smelled typical of a Pu-Erh. The malt from the dried leaves showed up in the brew, and was quite welcomed, as it made the tea a little more robust (again, this was very light).
Second Steeping: This brew was only slightly lighter than the first. This cuppa was much sweeter, less malty, and more floral. It retained the same earthiness as before. It was a very smooth couple of sips. I also noticed a hint of mushroom in the background. Very nice.
Third Steeping: The tea showed more malt and leather notes this time. I got a slight smell of mushroom, but it wasn’t present in the taste. Very smooth and reminiscent of pine wood.
Fourth Steeping: The tea started getting lighter in color here. Muscatel notes showed up, as well as more Pine flavor. The earthiness remained as strong as it was in the first steeping.
Fifth Steeping: The Pine notes were completely gone, and the tea was only a slight bit earthy. A very floral brew with a hint of nuttiness.
I didn’t encounter the “fishy” taste with this tea, as other reviewers did. I suspect that some didn’t wash the tea first. This tea is great for the price, though I wouldn’t age this tea further.