No one, not even Bonnie, has made a note about this one yet??? Bonnie, you’re slacking!
This one was odd to me because upon opening the sample pack I was greeted by what looked like loose leaf black tea, not nuggets or any sort of pressed cake. It smelled very pleasant with notes of light earthiness and mushrooms, raisins, caramel, and a hint of jasmine.
The wet leaf smelled of caramel, raisins, whole wheat flour, and a slight mushroom note. The infusion was a nice rich dark color with notes of mushroom, caramel, with a hint of salt and a hint of jasmine.
I brewed this gaiwan style with two quick rinses and started off with a 2 second steep, adding a second for every steep, working up to 10 seconds. The taste was really nice and different. It was light, but note weak. It reminded me of the way the Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong was. How it was a dancong, but it was lighter, not POW in your face. That’s how this puerh is, nice and light, not aggressive at all, very pleasant.
As for the actual notes I got, and I’m not going to go through steep for steep, started with light notes of earthiness, mushrooms, raisins, and caramel dominating. There were lingering notes of cinnamon and other spices, with a musty note coming and going. The aftertaste of the first few had a salt note to them.
Somewhere around steep 5 and on I started to get a cake note in the tail end of the sip that was very fleeting. It was similar to angel food cake without the sweetness. It’s hard to explain, it was a plain cake taste, not those vanilla or chocolate or icing covered cakes. Just a plain sponge-type cake.
Further on a tingling sensation crept over the sides of my tongue and a nice wildflower honey note came through. The honey note was more texture than it was taste, but even at that it wasn’t a very strong texture, just enough to let you know it was there and be pleasurable.
I never did taste the jasmine note I had found in the dry leaf. Aside from that, this was a very nice mellow puerh. It still had those earthy notes that I found to be characteristic of shu, but they were mellowed, making it a much more pleasant cup.