Pretty new to pu-erh, including sheng. I’ve never had a tea from Lincang that I knew was from Lincang, have never had a white bud pu-erh, and have not yet had another 2011 pu. Basically, those are the salt-grains one should take along with my review.
Cake itself was fairly loose; I managed to pry out about 10g with my hands alone. The cake appears to be the same pretty leaf inside as on the face. Dry leaf smells slightly sweet, like a white.
Using 5.2g of leaf in a 100ml porcelain gaiwan, with 195F-ish tap water [that I don’t know the composition of]. Gave the tea a 30-sec rinse with hot water.
Wet leaf smells spicy-vegetal-minty in a way I can’t really put my finger on, much less describe. It’s a very strong smell, amazingly different from the taste (the taste carries only the vaguest hint of the spice), and I’m quite bothered that I can’t place it or even decompose it into recognizable elements. Maybe this is what people describe as “medicinal”, though that’s not an association I would make with this tea.
First infusion was ~10sec; very pale yellow liquor. Tastes very slightly dusty, slightly sweet in a white tea sort of way. Found in the centre of my cup, prettily enough, what appeared to be a feather. Very perplexed that I can’t identify the leaf scent.
Second infusion ~20sec; slightly darker yellow liquor; may have overdone it, but if I did, the tea is not punishing me for it. Kind of a sweet minty floral taste — not strongly floral, just a bit. Round flavour; I wouldn’t say buttery, but similar. Still a light dusty note on top. Liquid smells kind of summery. Astringency is hardly present. Pleasant light aftertaste, sweetly floral with hints of wood.
Infusions continue to be ~20sec apiece. Slightly more sheng-style astringency comes out, though not a lot. The previously-observed not-buttery mouthfeel progresses into something I would tentatively describe as “chewy”. Liquor continues to smell and taste sweet; almost like a candy-tea, though not what I would call overwhelmingly sweet, and it does have a sharper dusty-spicy scent on top. This is the strength of sweetness I always hoped to get out of white teas and never managed, so it’s interesting to get it out of a raw pu-erh processed white tea, though I suppose maybe that’s what Norbu means when they say it’s bolder than a normal white tea.
This might be lovely as a dessert tea in any season, being lightly and cleanly sweet with hints of spice and having a clean aftertaste of reasonable lifetime. A very interesting flavour; I’m wondering what will happen if I provide a good aging environment.