Tommy The Toad was kind enough to send me some samples to introduce me to unflavored pu-erh, this being the first of them I decided to try. I can’t thank him enough for helping me branch out. To be honest, I was a little scared to dry it when I smelled the brewed tea, but I kept an open mind. There was definitely a little bit of that “fishy” odor that I had heard about, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. When I tasted it, there was no fishy taste whatsover. It was just an earthy, smoky kind of taste that made me think of fall leaves, campfires, and dirt (I never thought I’d drink something that reminded me of dirt, but really it wasn’t a bad thing). This was a very new experience, my mind was not fully prepared for what my taste buds experienced, and I’m glad I got to try it. Once I get used to the taste a little more, I can see myself becoming a pu-erh fan. The whole process of making pu-erh is very intriguing to me. The amount of effort and expertise that goes into creating a good pu-erh is something I can really respect, and I want to experience all of the different facets of the tea world. When it all comes down to it, tea in general is a form of art and allows me to feel a spiritual warmth and a connection with the nature. I am consuming the ESSENCE of nature, and at the same time the product of a rich culture of my own human race. As you can see, I’m getting a bit contemplative…and that in my mind the greatest quality of tea. It gives me a few minutes out of a hectic day to truly feel centered and be able to THINK and BE in the moment. I truly enjoyed this new experience.