This Pu-erh makes a full-bodied red-brown liquor with an aroma like garden soil. The flavor is rich and almost sweet. There’s a slight sour note which tells me that yes, it was aged and fermented in a solid cake. I suppose that both the oddness and the complexity of flavor is largely derived from this type of aging, unique to pu-erh teas. For the 2nd steep I added some chrysanthemum buds, and a tiny floral note chimed in from those. The aged pu-erh earthiness continues to follow through to the finish. I’m a novice when it comes to pu-erh, so the assertive ‘ripeness’ of this tea continues to startle me a bit, and I can’t say yet whether I like it.

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Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.

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Southern California, USA

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