A nice aged ripe!
The dry cake gives a slight clove and dry earth scent, but I didn’t get much else from it. I placed a generous amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. I picked up some interesting tones from the warmed leaf such as: sage, parchment, drought earth, and a desert scent (born and raised in Arizona). I really liked the tones I was picking up, so I knew that it would be interesting. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The herb tones came out from the steeped leaves swiftly. I was picking up Thyme, Tarragon, and old Basil. Afterwards, I was getting more earth tones like mud and copper. The background presented some sweetness like dried cherries. The drink was intense! This was a very unusual experience, and I loved it. The sip was super dry, and I mean like Sagrantino wine bone dry. Then, I got past the mouth drying and I picked up heavy minerals with copper, iron, and nickel. I took a few more sips and then I revisited the same desert but with rain pouring down. A uniquely heavily sour tone followed the entire session. I actually checked my water and vessel just to be sure it was the tea. This brew is sour, and I mean like sour patch kid sour! I was actually puckering during each sip. This tea gives a ton of mouth action and tongue prickling. The best part is once you get past these tongue wrestling obstacles you reach a delicious sweet aftertaste, as if you’ve reached the inside of the sour patch kid. The sour tones mellowed to a more green apple sour in later steeping. Also, the sweet tone becomes intense like Stevia. This was an awesome session. I love teas that create an experience. I love the ones that become imprinted on your tongue and mind. This puerh was certainty one of them. Although, I did not experience any qi, which is alright; because, I seldom do with Shou.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Drying, Earth, Green Apple, Mineral, petrichor, Pleasantly Sour, Sage, Sour, Sweet, Thyme