Note: I am very new to pu’er and am mostly writing a review for my own records. My opinion is not that of a seasoned veteran.
The brick is very dark and very dense, difficult to break up. I used an oyster knife and had to put a lot of weight behind it to get anywhere. In the little chunk I broke off, I found a bit of red string and a human hair. Not a great first impression.
The gaiwan lid smell after the rinse is pretty fishy and a little burnt. Rinse soup was pretty light and thin. The first steep (~6s) gave a much deeper colored soup and the smell of the lid lost a lot of its pungency, it sort of smelled like nothing other than a faint hay smell. Pretty weak flavor, it reminds me of the tea you get served free at a Chinese restaurant but with a little hint of fishiness. Second steep (~10s) brought some of the smokey smell back. I can barely see light through the soup in my 200ml glass cha hai. Flavor is coming through a little. I taste chalk and wet earth. There is a bit more aftertaste happening as well but it’s shallow in the throat and not very strong. Third steep (~15s) got rid of the smokiness but I got back a little fishiness and new tennis ball can on the lid aroma. Smelled like waking up in a tent after the sun has been beating down on it. Similar color in the soup. Flavor is going a little more vegetal, like boiled tubers you didn’t wash the dirt off of. Aftertaste is even weaker than the second steep, I don’t think I’ll get it back. Fourth steep (~20s) and the smokey aroma is back. It smells like burnt firewood that you left in the pit and it got rained on. Soup is lightening up a little bit. Flavor is very light again and the body has almost disappeared. No aftertaste, no throat feeling, just boring tea. We’re back to the flavorless Chinese restaurant oolong. Slight mushroom creaminess to the flavor.
I’m going to keep drinking this I guess but I’ll stop writing it down, it’s just boring at this point. At $0.09/g, I would not buy again. It was an impulse buy while I waited for an order from China since I live down the street from a TeaSource.