Tea provided by Teavivre for review
Dry leaf in the package smells sweet, like chocolate (didn’t expect that!)
First steep had a rush of flavours that I did not anticipate. It was a bold, heavy liquor with the flavors of mushrooms, wood, dark veg, moss and reminded me a bit of unsweetened chocolate. I expected it to be bitter (due to its age), but it was tolerable and somewhat went with the other flavors.
Second through third steeps increased in flavor but otherwise were similar in taste.
On my fourth through eighth steeps brought out a strange aftertaste. It’s hard to describe the exact flavors but the aroma brought back the memory of drinking dan cong oolongs. The aftertaste flavor took a while to develop, but on each subsequent steep (since fourth), the flavor was brought on sooner and stronger. It’s really weird for me to connect the flavor with dan cong oolongs, but that is where my memories of tea flavor keep pointing to.
Ninth to eleventh steeps were much weaker and less bitter than the rest, but the aftertaste flavor only increased. I don’t usually care to drink all of my later steeps, but I really enjoyed them with this tea.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this puerh. It’s very different from the other sample I was provided (Fengqing Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2014). I found the bitterness to be much more tolerable, and it dropped off significantly in the later steepings. Having experienced the aftertaste present from the fourth steep onward, I can’t imagine steeping this western style. Each short steep brought out many different flavours that I wanted to savour. If I were in a better situation to keep/store/age puerh I’d considering getting some of this tea. Admittedly I’m a fairly inexperienced raw puerh drinker, but this is one of the better puerhs I have tried.