Descriptions of this pu’erh say it is to be sweet and mellow. The dry cake is very spicy and sweet with a touch of smokiness. Flaking off several pieces of the larger cake into a gaiwan and prepared to rinse the leaves. The now-wet leaves carry less of a smoky smell than before. My first steeping is for thirty seconds. This infusion is sweet, spicy, and only carries the slightest of smoke-tinged aroma. My first taste is mellow, bold, and has only the slightest of rough edges. The slight smokiness does not in any way detract from the flavour. That same flavour is not overly vegetal. This cooked pu’erh really has mellowed in the twelve years since it was harvested.
The second 30-second infusion is no less smooth and mellow. This pu’erh has been a pure joy to drink so far. The second infusion tastes just like the first, except the aftertaste is a bit woodier. Not a rough woodiness, but the woody flavour is just a bit more intense.
As the infusions continue, the flavours do become more bold as the water puts the tea through its paces. This tea is faintly reminiscent of a lapsang souchong at times, because of the smokiness. After a total of six infusions, the steepings starts to weaken. I am a big fan of this tea and give it an 87/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.