Experience buying from The Puritea: Overall, positive (I hope to write a review of them, later).
Date of Purchase: Bought in the end of November, 2011; brewed up about three months later.
Packaging: Sample came in a simple silver bag, sealed, with a simple label.
Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: Beautiful tightly curled, light-and-dark-brown chick-pea-sized tea ‘balls’; rich quality Yunnan Red tea aroma: sweet and carmel-y.
Brewing guidelines: Glass Bodum pot, leaf free to roam (I normally steep Chinese Red tea in one of our ceramic pots, but I wanted to watch the leaves unfold as they steeped); stevia added; used my standard Chinese Red tea steeping times and temperatures; measured about 3.5 tsp of dry tea; used just under four cups of water.
Color and Aroma of tea liquor: What I judge to be standard Yunnan red tea color and aroma: dark and sweet.
Flavor of tea liquor: Good flavor up through four steepings. I tried a fifth with much less water, and was able to coax a little flavor from it.
Appearance and Aroma of wet leaf: Beautiful full leaves and buds (almost no pieces); roasted and malty aroma.
Value: Very expensive for a sample ($3 for a quarter-ounce), still pricy at the four oz. price ($19), but not too bad at the eight oz. price ($32). I think there are a few places you could get a good Chinese red like this for less (possibly Jing Tea Shop, or Tea Trekker).
Overall: I was in the mood for a Chinese red to have during dinner, so I spontaneously brewed up this sample. My wife and I both enjoyed it’s rich, sweet, carmel-y flavor. I enjoyed watching the little ‘balls’ unfold over each steeping. I was disappointed that there seemed to be only a quarter ounce in this sample, but overall this was a tea worth drinking. Still, I would look elsewhere before buying this tea again.