Had a bromantic date with my gaiwan and some pu’er this morning.
Quick rinse ~ 3 seconds
1st – 20 seconds
Liquid is medium brown and maintaining transparency, this steep is a bit unruly and surly. Maybe I should have let this brew a bit longer, or rinsed it for longer, not sure. Flavor is leathery with some smoke but tastes unstable with a strange salty note.
2nd – 30 seconds
Characteristic of most pressed pu’ers, the color is pure used motor oil, completely opaque! Love it. Mouth feel is silky and the flavors have seemed to stabilize with prominent leather, earth, rocky minerals and cold campfire. That weird unpleasant salty note has disappeared. This is a very good steep and the cold campfire smokiness paired with the mineral rock notes has triggered a nostalgic memory from a whitewater rafting rip many years ago. Enjoyable!
3rd – 45 seconds
The cake has completely broken up. Still opaque and silky, the flavor has edged off just a nudge but it now feels completely mature. This is my favorite steep. All the previous flavors are still present but with a more earthy tone creeping in. This tea would pair nicely with some bbq pork…
4th – 60 seconds
There is light at the end of the tunnel, I am starting to see the bottom of my 2 ounce cup! The flavors are beginning to lighten up as well, but an earthy and smokey taste lingers. Pleasing.
5th – 90 seconds
Back to transparency, noticeably thin with a smokey after taste that reminds me of a watered down lapsang souchong. Still drinkable but I’m going to call it here.
Overall an enjoyable cuppa, and similar to a few other pressed ripe pu’ers I have tried. While its a great representation of the class, this tea doesn’t really blow me away, or bring anything terribly unusual to the table. Aside from the surly first steep – which i’m sure there is a way around – this tea offers a solid and pleasing cup of pressed ripe pu’er.
I don’t feel comfortable rating this tea quite yet until I give it a few more tastings.