Using 2.50g in 4 oz municipal tap water for six minutes at or near boiling (ISO 3103) in a gaiwan.
This tea is extremely good for pu’erhs I’ve tasted before, but then, I’ve been mostly tasting middling pu’erhs from Davids and Teaopia, and none directly from a cake.
The tea brews extremely dark, with a little of that pink shade I’ve come to associate with pu’erhs. The taste is very bold, with no trace of bitterness despite a full six minute steep. My semi-untrained palate seems to think there are notes of leather, tobacco, grapes and hickory smoke in the tea. There’s a definite sweetness to it, underlying the almost chocolatey richness. This tea, I would say, is not balanced in flavour, in that everything leads you deeper into the sweet-dark side of things; there is no intervening bright note to accentuate it.
The tea pairs extremely well with chrysanthemum flowers; I’m using fresh, not dried, organic chrysanthemum petals, about half of the tea by weight. There’s a lightness that the mums add to the tea that helps to balance the deep richness of the tea, that bright note accentuating all the darkness.