The first tea I have tried from the Pubertea group buy put together by LiquidProust, pulled out of the bag at random. The leaf on this one smelled slightly leather and musty, though I wasn’t getting much of any strong aromas from it. I brewed it up in my Jianshui teapot with boiled water.
The first steep was leathery with a bit of a smoky aftertaste. Not particularly pleasant, but thankfully the leather only persisted for this single steep. Could be solved with a second rinse, but it’s still drinkable so no point there.
Steeps 2-5 are extremely thick – by the third steep I was almost chewing it. The flavors were sweet, a little hard to place, I’m thinking bamboo perhaps and slightly vegetal. Also inklings of vanilla in the middle of the sip. The smoky flavor in the aftertaste persists as well, coming through as a slight BBQ note in the finish. Sounds unpleasant, and it would have been if it were stronger, but it’s really just an echo on the end of the sip, and one of the rare times a smoky flavor has kind of added to a tea rather than subtracted from it for me. If I had to guess, I’d say this tea was a bit smokier in its youth and this is all that remains. I was feeling this tea quite a bit in my throat and the back of my mouth. Not really getting much of anything in the way of qi.
Steeps 6-8 presented a brew which I described as “cleaner.” So mostly the same flavor, but the meaty BBQ aftertaste was gone. In my first session, I had to pause it after steep 8 to go run some errands. While I was riding around in the car for around an hour, I could still feel this tea in my stomach and chest, and felt just a tiiiny teadrunk fuzziness. Not much, and I didn’t notice it while I was actually drinking the tea.
Steeps 8-11 were a little bit lighter all around. The flavor and thickness were less intense. More silky than what it was before, when it almost felt like pudding. Occasional spice notes on the front and still getting the odd hint of vanilla.
Steeps 12-19 were very soft and sweet in flavor. The texture would come and go, depending on how long I steeped it for, never returning to the crazy heights it had in the early session. The last two steeps were really all texture with little to no flavor remaining aside from maybe a sweet feeling in the mouth.
This was a good tea, and makes me excited not only for the rest of Pubertea, but also for trying more quality aged sheng. Most of my puerh exploration has been on the younger side of sheng to this point, which I certainly enjoy, but these teas promise a different and exciting experience of their own. I’m curious to see if all of the good aged sheng I try is this thick in the mouth. The only young sheng I’ve had that approach this thickness are some of the W2T productions.
Flavors: Bamboo, Leather, Meat, Smoke, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla, Vegetal