This managed to get lost in my little tea sample bowl. Oops. But I’m trying to get things organized and so when I rediscovered it, I thought I’d give it a go.
First off, the smell after a quick rinse smells just like my grandma’s barn. Dirt, hay and a tiny bit of livestock. After steeping an unknown (but less than 2 minutes) amount of time (I kind of walked away and forgot I hadn’t set a timer), the smell is really sweet. Still a bit of hay and dirt but mostly sweet. Dirt syrup. I kind of can’t help wincing a bit. Apparently I’m not in a pu-erh mood.
The taste isn’t a sweet, thick or syrupy as the smell would indicate. It’s more… wood? Green wood, I think, on the front end. And some earthiness that is not quite dirt but in the same family on the back. Dirty leather, maybe? Though sometimes the green wood and dirty leather combine in the sip to hit at the same time and I get a bit of an oily (but not overly smelly) fish. Yuck.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. I don’t think I’ve hit upon such a thin and non-silky pu-erh before. Weird. It does make it a big easier to drink, though. Usually I find the rich smell and silky taste of pu-erh to be too cloying. This isn’t, though.
That’s not to say this is good, though. Cause yeah, I don’t really think it is. I mean, it’s not bad, but yeah, not good. It’s sort of… passable? Like one of those inoffensive Keemuns I stock my pantry with so that if I want a good tea but feel like hoarding my good stuff, I can still get a passable cup of Keemun in. Except it’s pu-erh. And I don’t hoard pu-erh, inoffensive or spectacular. But you know, if someone did hoard pu-erhs, this one would be a great, inoffensive pantry filler.
Except for the when it tastes like fish. Then it’s offensive. Thankfully that happens less as it cools, but still. No fish tea, thanks. I’m rating it without taking the rare fish sips (three in the whole cup) into account. Because fish tea gets a red icky face. Non-fish tea gets a very light green meh face.