This was the first ‘real’ pu-erh tea that I have tried.
After reading all the criticism of shu pu-erh and brick pu-erh, I was surprised at how this tea was pretty good. The bricks have a little bit of a fishy, pondy aroma but given a week or two to air out and the smell virtually goes away.
After the first rinse the leaves, very chopped, give off a very deep, woody and earthy smell, without any of the pondiness. The same goes for the flavor. Like drinking a piece of forest in Fall: woody, bitter, earthy, smoky and a little sweet, with a slightly astringent finish in the throat. The aftertaste is a long lasting woody bitterness.
The tea soup is a very deep, dark, murky orange brown, which clears up to a clear orange-brown after the first two or three infusions.
The tea begins to give off a sweet flavor in the back of the mouth at about the 4th infusion. The tea does not infuse for too many times, at least not when I have tried it. Towards the end, the woody earthiness is very faint, with a sugar-water-like sweetness on top of it.
It is enjoyable and the price is pretty good ($1-$2 for 10-12 little tile-like bricks); however not a tea for those long tea-steeping sessions.