I’ve found that the so-called curated puerh vendors tend to have a house style. This is largely due to their buying teas that reflect their own taste. After drinking about 8 Bitterleaf teas in 3 days, I can conclude that at least part of the Bitterleaf house style is that they really like teas with a thick texture in the mouth.
This tea is an exemplar of that style. It is thick and fills the mouth with flavor. The first steep had good tobacco flavor with some straw and wood. Good texture and finish. Lots of interest in the mouth; flavor varies during each sip. 2nd steep: Good nose. I really like the texture. Flavor good but not as complex. 4th (30s): Medium nose is tobacco and spice. Taste has a touch of bitterness but also some spice, wood, and perhaps a hint of fruit. Great mouth-feel and texture, and an excellent finish. I’m also really feeling the cha qi.
Funny: after writing my notes I read the vendor blurb and they talked about strong orchid aroma, so I took a sniff and thought: “Oh, so that’s what orchids smell like.” There was a definite aroma that I thought of as a blend of straw and spice but could certainly be orchid. It was pleasant but not IMHO that powerful.
Part of my buying strategy is to find vendors whose taste is similar to mine. This tea punches all of my buttons. It isn’t as fruity or floral as I would like, but is rich and complex, which are my main criterion for judging puerh. There was some bitterness around the 4th steep, which is usually a negative for me, but in this tea, it just felt right.