I recently received one of these cakes as a random gift. Never had a chance to check out a pu-erh yet, so it was great that this opportunity came along! I broke all the rules and brewed this up just how I would with a black tea, which is what I usually drink. 13.5 grams of separated leaves and 48 ounces of boiling water in my teapot for a 3 minute steep (no initial rinse). I was kind of worried that it would be overly strong, but that thankfully was not an issue. I cannot compare this to any other pu-erh because this is my first, but I was suprised to find that this was a very mellow and agreeable tea. I drank it straight with no milk or sugar. Definitely has mossy and vegetal aspects, but some sweetness is in the mix plus maybe a “medicinal” quality? Sorry I’m not too good at describing the taste. I did follow up the next day brewing 27 grams in 48 ounces of boiling water for a 5-minute steep, and poured the tea into a pitcher with an equal amount of ice plus 4 tablespoons of white sugar to make an iced tea. So far I think this tea is better iced than hot, but I’ll continue to play around with it until I run out. Not a bad experience, but I probably will not go out of the way to drink pu-erh teas in the future. I’m happy with my black teas.
Update: After drinking my iced tea concoction some more, the cinnamon/clove notes mentioned by others are jumping out at me – I guess they were always there I just didn’t recognize them for what they were. As it often happens, the tea has grown on me and I find it pleasant and interesting. Revising my original score of 70 up to 85.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Medicinal, Moss, Mushrooms, Musty, Sweet