Well, I’m going to do my best with this one. Let’s start with three things:
Thing #1: This tea isn’t for me.
Thing #2: I have zero experience with teas this old. No idea what I’m talking about. Inexperienced, rookie aged puerh palate right here.
Thing #3: I would recommend anyone exploring puerh to give this one a shot. No excuses with an affordable 10g sample provided by BTTC.
OK, so since this isn’t my cup of tea, let me just offer my objective notes.
The tea is incredibly earthy. Compost, wet leaves, potting soil, and fresh earthy mushroom are primary flavors. When brewed more strongly, a medicinal, slightly bitter note arrives, not unlike acetaminophen tablets. As far as the prized “camphor” note that seems so desirable, it’s there. What is camphor? Basically, mothballs: bitter, aromatic, woodsy, medicinal.
The tea does not progress much from infusion to infusion. Flavors remain consistent. When brewed more strongly, more medicinal/pharmaceutical (camphor) notes are present.
One other objective note – the label is interesting. Combining “Yiwu” with “old arbor” with “spring” with a 25+ yr. age statement should put this tea near or into the four-digit price range. Not sure why it is so inexpensive.
It is intriguing. Despite not being to my liking, I did keep on with the session because the flavors are certainly different. If you are on the hunt for your camphor fix, this seems to be a very affordable means to get it.
Dry leaf – potting soil, fresh earthy mushroom, forest floor, compost
Smell – potting soil, mushroom, compost, old wet leaves
Taste – potting soil, mushroom, compost, camphor, medicinal/pharmaceutical, old wet leaves
TL;DR: dirt and Tylenol