I wanted to note that I purchased this Purple Rhyme from Mandala Tea but since it is already in the database twice under two different sellers I didn’t see any point in adding it again since it is the same tea and manufacturer. Bonus in ordering from Mandala is shipping is cheaper than from other places and yet they have a great selection of pu-erhs for a domestic company.
Pretty much figured when I bought this there was zero chance I wouldn’t like it because Menghai shu pu-erhs are becoming some of my favorites. I did rinse this and then gave it a 30 second steep in the gaiwan. The wet leaves are intensely aromatic of forest floor aroma and coffee grounds. Charles is right about this being a very dark shu but I am loving it. It has an almost creamy and rich quality with dark stone fruit flavors. I did my first two steeps for 30 seconds in the gaiwan and tossed them in together in the same glass mug. This is a very eye opening tea.
For steeps #3 and 4 they only required about 10 seconds of steeping time before the tea liquor became very dark and flavorful. To me it is very earthy, and shiitake mushroom like. This is a great substitute for coffee being quite dark and robust, but it also has no bitterness.
I also have one of the Menghai Red Rhyme 100 g cakes and I recall that being a little on the lighter and sweeter side but they are both quite good in my opinion. I am not a pu-erh expert, I just know what I like. :-)