I’m way behind in my reviews…So I’m not letting myself try new samples until I can catch up on the old teas and allow myself to focus on the new ones. And with that, I will catch up with this pu’er. I steeped the whole sample (I think it was around 4.5 grams or so) in my 100ml gaiwan. I got through about 10 or 11 steeps total. There was a great deal of intrigue in this tea, with a very unique flavor profile. From the first four-second steep, I received notes of mushrooms, cedar chips, a certain grape-like tartness, a faint earthiness, and flavors of overripe fruit. The liquor smelled like old, worn-out leather and age. It actually came out kind of frothy, which was interesting to me, as the height I poured it from wasn’t any higher than normal. The mouthfeel contained a slow and drawn-out huigan that began sparkly and tingly and transformed into a bitterness. There was also a lingering metallic feel to it here.
Into the next steep, all the above flavors increased in intensity while notes of camphor and what totally reminded me of Dr. Pepper were added to the mix. The mouthfeel turned into something fierce in this steep. It was stronger, more potent, and it made the tip of my tongue feel like it was on fire or that it was vibrating or something. Very tingly. This mouthfeel remained like this with somewhat less intensity throughout the rest of the steeps.
As far as flavor goes, the rest of the steeps went downhill from here (at least for me). The next steep was incredibly sour-tasting. And instead of showing up and then fading, it actually expanded and became more intense after a sip. It was kind of like biting into an unripe lime, complete with a great deal of astringency. Bleh. I don’t know what happened here, but it only steeped a second longer than the previous steeping. At any rate, it calmed down into the next couple of steeps, but it was still very apparent.
The steeps faded out with a great deal of earthiness, a bit more spice, and some notes of that overripe fruit taste. Overall, I really liked the tastes it put forth, and the mouthfeel was highly stimulating, but the metallic feeling and sour tastes were just too off-putting for me. However, I did really like the leaves of this one. Although there were a TON of stems in my sample, the leaves became quite green when wet and the ones that happened to be whole had some beautiful veins. The leaves’ aroma was also quite nice. Hints of florals, grapes, ripe fruits, and some nostril-tingling tartness.