Woke up today craving a ripe instead of my usual raw so I pulled out this sample from mrmopar. Nice dark nuggets with a weird small bit of light colored leaf and a light twig/stem. Odd, but whatever. After the rinse there is a decent strength ripe smell that, fortunately, faded pretty quickly in following steeps. 1st steep is bright and very very sweet but not very flavorful. 2nd steep smells like old books. Very deep brown soup, lovely. Taste is still mild and sweet. It’s got a perfect astringency level for me, it’s there enough for the tea not to be flat and boring but it’s not drying me up. There’s some cooked fruit flavor deep in the throat. 3rd steep continues to please.
At this point I’m already digging around Taobao for a cake of this. It’s tremendous. It’s everything I never knew a shou could be. It’s not fishy and rank. It’s sweet and smooth and DAMN MAN. Just when I thought I was going to be able to get away with ignoring ripe puer forever and focusing my efforts on raw, you bastards make me want it all.
4-5th steeps the sweetness has backed off a bit and it’s a little earthier. I’m even picking up a hint of the grassiness of a young raw. 6th+ steeps are all similar, still sweet and smooth and rich and delicious. I’ll stretch these leaves as far as they’ll take me, I’ll end with an hour steep if I have to!
Edit: I’ve done a 2m, 3m, 5m, 7m steep and it’s still tasting good.