This tea was really good, almost spectacular for the price, $8.99. This tea was well aged, it had almost no fermentation flavor, just a little in the second and third steeps. It had a little more fermentation flavor than my benchmark tea, the 2008 Song of Chi Tse, but not very much. It did not have as many complex notes as the Song of Chi Tse but it held its own with complex notes having the common dates or sweet notes common to ripe puerh. I will admit I was not paying that much attention to its complexities, and I added sugar so that intensified the sweet notes quite a bit but they were there none the less. The spent leaves had the aroma of dried cacao to a large extent. I will probably pick up two more of these the next time I order from Dragon Tea House. This is definitely worth adding on to your next Dragon Tea House order but may not be worthy of an order by itself. Despite how much I liked this brick, it is still a cheap brick, but then again Menghai Tea Factory does cheap bricks right. I steeped the hell out of this tea. Using a small amount of tea I got eight good steeps out of it. I think I would have gotten two more steeps in if I wanted more tea tonight. This tea definitely holds it own for the price.
I steeped this eight times in a 220 ml gaiwan with 9g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, and 8 min. I dramatically increased the time for the eighth steep because the tea got a little weak in the seventh steep. If this tea was made of higher quality leaves it would be worth a 100% score, as it is I give it about a 93% score.
Flavors: Dates, Sweet