For the preparation and consumption of this tea, I used a small, 6 oz. gaiwan and boiled water.
What struck me concerning the leaves of this particular pu’erh was that some are whole, while others are chopped, ripped, and torn. This typically is not a good sign, as ripped and chopped leaves tend to “steep-out” faster. The smell of the dried leaf is vegetal and green…a leafy smell, not grassy. A bit loamy.
The first thirty second steep produced a medium brown liquor, with a soft smell. The earthy flavour bursts in the mouth, but it brings with it some distinctly rough edges. The aftertaste of this first steep is strong, but the but it has a weak forward taste.
The second thirty second steep brings with it an earthier smell that is also smooth and deep. The tea bites a bit on the aftertaste leaves a hard flavour under the tongue. The flavour of the tea is still full, but not strong. One feels that this steeping is relatively light.
On the third steeping of the same time as the others, the smell is “dirtier” now. The colour is a golden brown, and that bite has almost completely gone away. The flavour is smooth, but a bit weaker than before. This tea certainly lacks forward flavours and much “personality.”
I go on to steep it three more times. The fourth is much thinner and lighter; the fifth is no different; and the sixth, which I left sit for multiple minutes, barely changed anything.
I would give this tea an 88/100 on my personal enjoyment scale. The aftertaste really was quite pleasant. A tea such as this goes to show that age is not everything in a pu’erh.