Adventures in pu-erh part next. I opened up this sample today. I’m surprised I couldn’t find an entry for it? A lot of others of the former ATR pu-erhs do have entries. I hope I didn’t accidentally create a duplicate.
First, I want to say that it’s not all that easy to taste tea for note-writing purposes while also trying to execute your MCLE requirements. I thought it might be a good combo since MCLE lectures tend to be a bit dry, but it’s kind of hard to pay attention to both at once.
In any case, I tried this in the gaiwan at boiling after a rinse: 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, 120, 240, 300, 360.
The leaves (since there’s no picture) are variegated in color, from brown to dark green to light brown with golden tips. They’re short, and not particularly full. Dry, they smell like earth and mushrooms. They’re fishy, but only very slightly and that goes away when they’re rinsed.
The first few steeps make a tea that is dark almost to the point of being opaque and brown-red in color. The tea’s color lightens noticeably with repeated steeps after the first few. By the fifth steep, the color is closer to mahogany. By the last, it’s a dark amber.
The tea is smooth through all the steeps, and has a quality that makes it come across as rich even when it is fading. The first few steeps have smells and tastes of leather, mushroom, molasses, and a slight mocha note.
By around steep four, the flavor becomes more woody and less sweet (though it is still somewhat sweet — and the sweetness really pops at the four minute steep before becoming subdued through the remainder).
Other than as mentioned, the tea is pretty consistent in its smoothness and flavor. It was enjoyable even as it started to fade.
I like it the best of the ATR shus I’ve had recently, though not nearly as much as the Life in Teacup.
Flavors: Earth, Fishy, Leather, Mocha, Molasses, Mushrooms, Wood