The owner of Tin Roof Teas was kind enough to share several sample cups of this tea with me as I browsed the shop today. It is a new tea in his shop and will be part of a raw puerh tasting event coming up on January 28, 2016. If you live in North Carolina and can go, I recommend it. I went to a puerh tasting last year and it was great! They do a tea flight about once a month and often do pairings with the gourmet chocolates they sell or samples from their honey bar. They have a honey room and stations for refilling your honey containers, as well as bee pollen, herbs, candles, teaware, and tea candies and such. Follow their Facebook page and send them a message if you want to reserve a spot in the tasting.
This is not a puerh, but an aged black tea. It reminds me very much of a mature sheng. The dry leaves had a unique aroma, first of turnip greens then immediately followed by a deep oak-y scent. These were loose leaves, not a cake.
The steeped tea is pale for a black tea and much the color you would expect of a mature sheng. This tea came from a puerh master and is probably not called puerh simply because of where the leaves were grown. (You may remember that Harney and Sons sold a green tea cake a few years ago that could not be called puerh because of where it was grown but it was in every respect an excellent puerh-type tea.)
The flavor was mild and not as green tasting as the aroma of the dry leaf led me to think it would be. It also really did not taste like a black tea, but some customers who were primarily black tea drinkers in the shop took it without question, drank it, enjoyed it, and I think they may have even purchased some. Our first steep was about 8 seconds, and the second was about 12, I believe. The instructions say that it gives about eight good steeps.
The tea was smooth and mild. It needed no additions. I would have purchased some but I am trying to reduce my cupboard, especially since I just found that exquisite 2013 TGY that I adore and have neglected because I have TOO MUCH TEA. I plan to drink and drink and drink what I have so I can feel good about ordering more when the new harvest gets underway. And yes, I share, swap, give away, invite people for tea, but I still have too much!
One nice thing about the shop is that they normally sell 100 gram bags and 250 grams and up, but you can request a sampler pack of fifty grams each if you buy at least four different teas, and you choose your teas. They also have premade samplers of various kinds like flavored black blends, or all greens, etc. They have quite a variety, too, some blends being TeaGeschwendner and some in-house.
They will also try to make special request blends when they have time.