I’m not very experienced with pu-erhs and this is the first cake-style one I’ve ever tried. I got three of those little cakes (cakelets?) courtesy of oOTeaOo, but I forgot about them for awhile and they got lost in the back of my cupboard and only resurfaced now when I did a major cleaning-out.
The cakes are surprisingly hard – I tried to break one in my hand and found I couldn’t. It smelled very earthy and rather pungent – a bit like manure maybe, or soil enriched with manure.
I gave it a 40 second rinse like I’ve seen people recommend to clean off the tea and open the cake up. Despite the rinse, the brewed tea was still super dark like a cup of dark roasted coffee without milk. I didn’t steep it for very long – only one minute and the result was a flavour that was surprisingly light when compared to its appearance. It has a distinctive earthy flavour with some mildly bitter, tannic notes – it actually seems to intensify a bit after I swallow each sip.
More steeps to come. :)