Thanks to Teavivre for this sample!
I’m still a pu-erh novice, although I’m fascinated by them and am trying to branch out. This is the first one I’ve tasted that has a date attached to it. I’m locking myself in my room with the A/C (not strong enough to actually make the room cool, but at least I’m not sweating… I hate summer.)
The scent of the dry leaves is definitely dark and earthy. There’s a hint of the “fishiness” associated with pu-erh, but it’s no more than a passing whiff. Beyond that, it just smells old. Like smoke and leather and oak trees. There’s a lighter sweetness to the scent of the wet leaf.
First steep – 10 s
It’s a very dark brown color. It reminds me of the barn I used to ride at, down the street from my house. It was built into a hill and was very long and narrow, dusty and dirty and dim. When I look at the liquor it reminds me of the color of a well-used saddle, dark and leathery and deep.
I’d definitely describe this tea as “woodsy.” It’s not heavy, but it’s dark, and there’s a surprising coolness of mint here.
Second steep – 20s
Still dark, flavor a bit stronger than the first steep. Unremarkable.
Third steep – 30s.
Oh, God, yes. I let this cool to drinkable temperature before I attempted a sip. Oh my goodness. The first thing that hits my tongue is caramel. Sweet, light, a hint of chocolate with just the tiniest bit of astringency at the finish. Lighter, golden caramel colored liquor.
I’ll post this now, since I don’t want it getting longer than it already is (oops), but Teavivre, you’re killing me. You’re killing me! I can’t wait till school starts so I have money to go tea shopping.