This is my second review of this tea.
Reddish brown and mellow with notes of damp tree bark, sweet soil and ash and very faint aroma of leather. The most fascinating flavor of this tea was the illusive but clear notes of dry herbs, notably dill which seemed to jump out after the first infusion then fade with each additional. Not the most dynamic of pu erhs that I have tried, but the herbal notes were quite unique and I was able to get 8 infusions (probably could have done 2 more). I think I was over excited about it the first time I had it (90 pts)… its really lovely, but I think a B+ is more realistic than an A for this Sheng.
A wonderful treat and great value from Mad Monk Tea Shop in Sand Diego, CA. This “Seven Color” collection is produced by the Chunming Tea Factory in Yunnan. I had a very hard time locating information about the tea and the actual tea factory, but that is the case many times with Pu-erh, especially when specifically trying to locate information on tea produced 7 years ago and not being able to read Yunnan! This tea was gifted to me so I had to contact Mad Monk by email to ask what it was… they did not know and thought it was produced in 2005 by the Menghai Tea Factory (maybe they were just trying to get rid of me, haha). Anyways after looking at hundreds of pictures of labels I found that it was indeed a “Seven Color” produced by The Chunming Tea Factory (The little elephant’s backside logo on the label was the key). Although I am not positive about the 2007 date logged by a fellow steepster, I am sure we are in the ballpark.
After a good 5 second rinse of the tea, the first steep released a wonderful earthy wet barn aroma and a flavorful persistent round cup with classic notes of beetroot, dry herb and forest floor with very light astringency. Multiple steepings are possible, I lost track of how many I did. Great tea for a hangover and just a nice treat for the price. As stated by the previous reviewer it was “bitter”… I think its possible that it was just bad luck because the one I have was quite enjoyable.