Ah, this is a tea that’s right up my street. When I saw Verdant had a reduced price stock of these cakes (due to slightly damaged wrappers), and I had a little tea cash left over, I couldn’t resist! Along with the full cake, I also ordered a little “sample” bag (25 g, mind).
This is my third sheng puerh, now, and I think I’d developing a greater understanding of these teas. This one was really wonderful – it had it all! It had that unusual, savoury, vegetal, brothy flavour, but it also had a real sweetness and a genuine creaminess. I started drinking this in the afternoon and easily got through four or five steeps before I had to stop for dinner.
I used the leaves from the little bag today – the bag contained a number of lovely “flakes” of puerh cake that looked mostly intact. The leaves in my Gaiwan certainly looked full, anyway. It smelled kinda strong and musty, when dry, but not in an overly unpleasant way.
The way leaves were certainly very woody – I can see why someone else has listed that as a flavour note. I did get a mild woody note (kinda like old, dry timber) from the liquor itself, too, which was very pleasant (and unusual).
I used 4 g in ~100 ml. I started with a 10 s rinse (the leaves were very compact) and then left it to sit in the hot, steamy Gaiwan for a minute or two. I then did infusions of: 5", 5", 10", 15" (and maybe 20" – I can’t remember if I did that last one or not XD). The first infusion was pale, but sweet and creamy. Subsequent ones saw the flavours intensify, with those woody notes coming through in the final two steeps. I’ll carry on with these leaves tomorrow :D
(I’m still not gonna “score” this tea, just yet, but I’m getting much closer to the point when I’ll start to score puerh tea. This is certainly my favourite of the three I’ve tried so far, though the 2011 Yi Wu from Canton is coming a close second. I think they’ll be another candidate for comparative steeping at some point in the future :D)
Flavors: Creamy, Sweet, Wood