This puerh is a sheng style, or uncooked tea. The leaves are twisted and with a brownish green hue. The dry leaf has smokey aroma with hints of leather and “forest”. Puerh tea has an unmistakable and hard describe flavor I sometimes think of as “dank”, like the smell of exploring an old barn or a slightly damp basement.
I rinsed the tea and for the first infusion I used about 4 grams of tea with about 3.5 oz of water at 200F, and brewed for about 2 minutes. I rarely am exact with tea…I think that is part of the fun.
FIRST STEEP: The leaves opened up immediately, producing a deep amber liquor, somethig similiar to a darker oolong like Red Robe or Oriental Beauty. Like the dry leaf, the first steep had dominant notes of leather, dry smoke (think fall leaf burning in the countryside), a lingering dry/grassy sweetness and a touch of minerality (like you put a pebble in your mouth!). If you like smokey scotch, you will appreciate this tea. I happen to love Scotch…
Steep time on second infusion was about a minute.
SECOND STEEP: After steep 2, the leaves are almost completely open showing their slightly reddened edges. The dominant aroma continues to be smoke. The subtle sweetness has backed off and the “dry” flavor has become more dominant. The slight astringency is on par with a fairly dry red wine. Still a nice herbaceous (think vegetal) after taste.
THIRD STEEP: Less dry, slightly more sweet.
FOURTH STEEP: all flavors have diminished, but a sweetness continues to develop. Interesting!
Nice tea, especially for multiple steeps in the Gaiwan. Lots of dry, smokey flavors reminiscent of autumn. Not the most complex tea in terms of it developing over subsequent steeps, but a nice tea non the less.
Music listened to while tasting: Keith Jarrett “Live at the Blue Note”