I was going to try and make this one in a gaiwan but I got a last minute notice that prevented me from that and instead I did a single long steep in a 250ml teapot. What’s interesting with this ‘mini’ type of pressed Pu Erh is that it’s really convenient for trips and I use that advantage to the fullest. The disadvantage with this type of Pu Erh is that the leaf is coarsly broken (I’ve seen the fragments from few millimeters to an centimeter or two) which in return results in less steeps and sometimes more bitter taste than the usual pressed ripe Pu Erh.
A good part of these ‘mini’ Pu Erhs are pressed really hard and it takes some time for the leaf to expand and release its active components, but this particular one did it in a minute or so. I wanted to strain it to the cup at that moment but I really didn’t have time to steep the leaves again since I was in a hurry. After five minutes of steeping I got a deep black infusion with brown-red rim and a wet clay-like note at the top mixed with molasses. The first sip revealed a full body with a freshness and element of clay. The finish is more complex with notes of orchid and molasses. As the liquor cools down the elements are getting harmonized and there’s a certain smooth and oily feel in the mouth and lips (actual oil from the leaf, I guess). At this point the aftertaste gets a minty element to it as well. What’s really nice about this tea that it doesn’t develop bitterness or briskness that’s present in some of the ‘mini’ types of Pu Erh.
All in all, very nice and balanced tea for its ‘kind’, the only potential turn away is that it has a certain clay accent that some people don’t like.
Flavors: Clay, Mint, Molasses, Orchid